Extraordinary photographs show the rare moment a baby boy was born while still tucked up tight within his amniotic sac.
Baby Noah Valasco was born ‘en-caul’, meaning the amniotic sac protecting him within his mother’s womb had failed to burst during labour. Usually, the sac would break and drain out from the vagina during labour; commonly known as the mother’s waters breaking.
This sort of entrance to the world is extremely rare, occurring in approximately just one in 100,000 births. In many cultures, an en-caul birth is regarded as a sign of good luck.
The astonishing images were captured by photographer Jana Brasil, at Praia da Costa Hospital in the city of Vila Velha, Brazil.
Brasil has the extremely fascinating, no doubt emotional job of capturing the first precious moments of a baby’s life; having dedicated herself to full-time birth photography three years ago.
In that time, Brasil has seen many, many babies take their first breaths. However, Noah was still able to surprise her with his expressive little face:
It’s indescribable to register that moment. Last year I took photos of babies in the sacs but nothing like the photo of Noah, it surprised me.
I thought I had been through all the emotions, but he pulled a face and did a little pout.
Baby Noah was born to mum Monyck Valasco, 34, who has expressed how emotional her son’s birth made her feel:
People all around the world are re-posting the photos and looking for us.
I saw him being born. They lowered the screen so I could see. I cried a lot. It’s an emotion that has no size.
Doctors were forced to pop the sac manually, freeing young Noah from his bubble. Despite their rarity, en-caul births reportedly pose no threat to mother or child.
Packed with fluid, the amniotic sac cushions the baby in the womb; helping the lungs, digestive system and musculoskeletal system to develop.
Gynaecologist Rafael Angelo Baggieri said:
An en-caul birth occurs when the baby is born without breaking the amniotic sac, in other words, within a little house which shelters it during gestation.
Noah is currently still in hospital, as he is – understandably – ‘tired’ following his remarkable birth. However, it’s expected he will be allowed head to his new – no doubt more spacious – home within the week.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.