Dumb Question? born in caul? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 12-16-2008, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When a baby is born in the caul, does the placenta come out with the baby? Or does the amniotic sac just stretch to capacity and break at the last minute leaving the placenta still attached to the uterus? Do babies actually come out completely incased in the amniotic sac? I seem to remember a water birth that showed the baby floating underwater still inside the sac, where was the placenta?
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#2 of 11 Old 12-16-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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The sac generally just stretches, which is why it breaks eventually. The placenta doesn't come out with the sac. It's pretty stretchy tissue (the sac); take a look at a placenta and see how small the membranes are without the fluid and baby inside.

I have seen three babies born truly en caul (intact membranes) and several more whose bags popped as they were born.

It's very trippy to see the hair wave around inside the sac.

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#3 of 11 Old 12-16-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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There is actually two layers to the amniotic sac. The amnion and the chorion. So they can separate and the baby can come out in the amnion, and the chorion is still connected to the placenta.

My daughter was born in the caul. She was a blue-ish/grey-ish snowglobe on the bottom of the birth tub.
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#4 of 11 Old 12-17-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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I've seen one baby born in the caul- snowglobe is a perfect description. After his shoulders were out, he reached up and broke the bag, looking like Superman saying "up, up and away!".

That placenta actually took a long time (more than an hour) to arrive, now that I think about it.

Megan- mama to 3, midwifery student , doula, , runner , knitter .
Violet Lane Birth Services Doula care and placenta encapsulation serving Seattle to Mount Vernon
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#5 of 11 Old 12-17-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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My friend's baby was born in the caul a couple months ago. The placenta pretty much came out with the baby, but we suspect she might have had a partial abruption, since there was so much blood in the water. Baby's heart tones were fine, though & he started breathing as soon as she pulled the sac off his face.

mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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#6 of 11 Old 12-18-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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I have seen so many now that I've lost count - I have seen a fully encased baby once- looked like a transparent red jelly bean- most of the time there are fore waters and you get that snowglobe effect but I have seen at one birth the membranes so tightly against the baby that it distorted the facial features and it took me a few seconds to realize that it was membranes over the face and not some sort of deformity --- also had one baby who had the weirdest uberstretchy membranes that they were out ahead of baby about 15 inches-(no exageration)

I want to pop the membranes at about the shoulder/armpit and pull off the face- because once the chest is out the baby may want to breath in and with a face covered- it won't be air that goes in- can make for wet lungs and fast breathing-
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#7 of 11 Old 12-18-2008, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay so I can see how most of the baby can come out without breaking the bag of water, but can the entire baby come out and still be incased in the unbroken sac? I am talking like sac with baby floating inside and not touching mom at all. If so where is the placenta then (in the sac with baby or inside of mom) and where is the umbilical cord? Are there any good illustrations of the anatomy of the amniotic sac and placenta?
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#8 of 11 Old 12-19-2008, 08:18 AM
 
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The sac is connected to the placenta all around the outer edge of the placenta. So, in the kind of case you mention, the sac would have broken off pretty much at the placenta edge (or near to it). This means that while it may appear that the baby is totally encased in sac, the 'bottom end' (usually baby's feet, right) is open. It may not look open, if it's clinging to the baby, but it isn't actually sealed there at all. The cord would be trailing from baby's umbilicus down the legs and out past the feet, still attached up inside uterus to the placenta. So, tho no one has said it yet, the picture of the 'sno globe baby' would be modified by the cord trailing out the end of the 'globe' and up into mama.
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#9 of 11 Old 12-19-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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unless you have placenta out with membranes- as a whole unit
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#10 of 11 Old 12-19-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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DS was pretty close to being born in the caul... if it weren't for the shoulder dystocia he probably would have been! There was some trouble getting the placenta out afterwards though, so maybe not. Both my babies have had pretty strong membranes (DD's also broke while I was pushing)

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#11 of 11 Old 12-19-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txgal View Post
Okay so I can see how most of the baby can come out without breaking the bag of water, but can the entire baby come out and still be incased in the unbroken sac? I am talking like sac with baby floating inside and not touching mom at all. If so where is the placenta then (in the sac with baby or inside of mom) and where is the umbilical cord? Are there any good illustrations of the anatomy of the amniotic sac and placenta?
My last baby was born completely encased in the amniotic sac - a perfect ball, well more like a balloon because of the cord coming out. She was not touching me at all. Actually, my very first thought was "Maybe I should've had an ultrasound, then I would've known I wasn't having a baby..." because it SO did not look like a baby at all. It broke when I picked her up. I really, really wish I had pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
The sac is connected to the placenta all around the outer edge of the placenta. So, in the kind of case you mention, the sac would have broken off pretty much at the placenta edge (or near to it). This means that while it may appear that the baby is totally encased in sac, the 'bottom end' (usually baby's feet, right) is open. It may not look open, if it's clinging to the baby, but it isn't actually sealed there at all. The cord would be trailing from baby's umbilicus down the legs and out past the feet, still attached up inside uterus to the placenta. So, tho no one has said it yet, the picture of the 'sno globe baby' would be modified by the cord trailing out the end of the 'globe' and up into mama.
This is pretty much what happened, with the cord anyway. The bag was completely around her and in tact. I always wondered how it stayed "closed" when the cord obviously coming out of it. My teacher told me it was because of the Whartons Jelly. I still don't understand the logistics, though.

When my midwife got there (20+ min after the birth), she found the amnion floating in the tub. I hadn't delivered my placenta at that point.
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