Baby born in amniotic sac becomes newborn viral star

Silas Johnson was born en caul, completely encased in his amniotic sac, at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

By Ben Hooper
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles baby became one of the world's youngest social media celebrities when a picture of him still in his amniotic sac after birth went viral.

Silas Johnson was born three months premature via Caesarean section Dec. 6 and a doctor at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center snapped a photo of the infant completely encased in the amniotic sac following the procedure.


"Even though it's a cliche -- we caught our breath," neonatologist William Binder told KCAL-TV. "It really felt like a moment of awe."

Doctors said the amniotic sac normally breaks during labor, creating the event referred to as "breaking water," and the sac is usually punctured during a C-section.

Occasionally a portion of the sac sticks to the baby during birth, which is known as being born "en caul," or with a "birth caul."

The hospital said only 1 in every 80,000 births involves a child being born en caul.

"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," mother Chelsea Philips said. "It was actually really cool to see."


Dr. Amos Grunebaum, director of obstetrics at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, said birth cauls have a storied history.

"There are a lot of myths surrounding en caul births," Grunebaum told Time. "There are many, many difference sources in the literature where people think the person delivered that way has certain powers."

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