Rare birth: Baby born completely encased in amniotic sac

He was born a healthy baby boy, but with an extra body part: a parasitic twin.

Rare birth: Baby born completely encased in amniotic sac

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Silas Philips, born "en caul," was completely surrounded by the amniotic sac

It's rare -- less than one birth in every 80,000 occurs.


Silas Philips, a baby born in the womb of a woman named Mary, has achieved a rare feat.

He's already become a social media sensation because he was 'born en caul'.

In a post on Facebook, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of Los Angeles said that Silas' amniotic sac was fully encased. It's rare enough that doctors who deliver babies rarely see it. Silas's doctor took a picture with his cellphone.

The baby looked as if it was stuck in a large bubble of water.

William Binder, a neonatologist at CNN affiliate KCAL said: 'Even if it's a cliché - we took pause.' It was a real moment of awe.

Binder then began to help Silas breathe, and to give him special attention because Silas had been born by Caesarean Section three months earlier than his due date.

Chelsea Philips, Silas’ mother, was shown the photo by his grandmother.

Philips said to the affiliate that it was 'definitely like a clear movie, where you could clearly make out his hair and head'. Silas was in fetal position.

What is a 'caul'?

The amniotic bubble is an opaque, transparent sac that covers every baby in the womb immediately after conception. The amniotic sac fills up with fluid as the baby grows. This includes the urine of the child.

The baby is protected from the bumps, jolts, and jerks that moms experience on a daily basis.

The term "breaking water" comes from the fact that during birth the membrane breaks and fluid is rushed out.

According to Dr. Amos Grunebaum who is an obstetrician-gynecologist and publishes a site on birth and infant care, sometimes the sac gets stuck around a part of the child.

The glass can be stuck to the baby's face, giving it the appearance of a space helmet. The term caul is derived from Latin words which refer to a space helmet.

Cedars-Sinai reported that such amniotic helmet births were rare, but the occurrence of the baby being completely enclosed in the sac (also known as 'en caul') occurs less than once in every 80,000 births.

Philips was shocked when she learned how rare the birth of her Baby was. She told KCAL, "I was like oh my god, Silas. You're such a special baby."

This is especially surprising when the C-section is performed, as the scalpel typically pierces through the amniotic sac.

Silas must not have been on the doctors' radar.