Incredible footage captured the moment that a baby boy in China was pulled from his mother’s womb while still inside an intact amniotic sac. The baby, who was delivered in July via C-section at 36 weeks gestation, was in the breech position and had an umbilical cord complication that made the early birth necessary.
Delivering a baby en caul, which is when the amniotic sac stays intact, can be done on purpose, although it’s still a rare occurrence. Dr. Pan Mian, of Fujian Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital in East China, said he decided to deliver the baby en caul because he was premature.
“We opted for this procedure because preterm babies are weaker than full-term babies,” he told Asia Wire. “As premature births are among the main reasons for infant mortality, an en caul birth allows the newborn to be delivered inside the same protective membrane. This reduces moisture loss on the skin, avoids rapid temperature loss after a preterm birth, and decreases the risk of the infant being harmed during a C-section.”
Pan said that the baby, who weighed 5.5 pounds at his birth, remained in the amniotic sac for an additional two minutes until doctors opened the membrane and cleared the fluid from his lungs.
The hospital has reportedly opted to deliver more babies en caul after having success with this baby.