A rare glimpse inside the womb

Baby Silas' birth was "a moment of awe", his neonatologist said.
Baby Silas' birth was "a moment of awe", his neonatologist said.  Photo: WHNT

Amazing photos of a baby born still inside the amniotic sac have given a rare glimpse of life inside the womb.

Baby Silas Phillips was delivered three months early via emergency caesarean section, and in rare a occurence his amniotic sac didn't break during his birth.  

Dr William Binder, from Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, where the baby was delivered, told CBS Los Angeles it was a birth he would never forget.

Caul births occur in around one in every 80,000 births.
Caul births occur in around one in every 80,000 births.  Photo: WHNT

"It was a moment that really did - even though its a cliche - we caught our breath. It really felt like a moment of awe," the neonatologist said. "This was really a moment that will stick in my memory for some time."

Dr Binder took photos of the baby while he was still in the amniotic sac. Until the bag was broken Silas was still getting oxygen through the placenta. 

"It felt like slow-motion but really realistically probably about 10 seconds that we had to sort of quickly pause and be able to do this, because at the same time, we want to get the baby out of that sac, start helping the baby to begin breathing," Dr Binder said.

Silas could be seen through the membrane of the sac.
Silas could be seen through the membrane of the sac.  Photo: WHNT

The birth of a baby with the amniotic sac still intact is known as a caul birth. It is said to occur an average of around once in every 80,000 deliveries.

The first mum Chelsea Phillips knew about her son's unusual arrival was when her mother showed her the photograph taken by Dr Binder. 

"It was definitely like a clear film where you could definitely make out his head and his hair. He was kind of in a fetal position and you could see like his arms and his legs curled up," she told CBS. "It was actually really cool to see."

Baby Silas is now 10 weeks old and is doing well. He is expected to be well enough to go home in about one month.

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