BUMPS – The Mystery of Being Born In The Caul

| October 16, 2009 | 16 Comments

Editor’s Note: Happy Friday! This morning we have Deepa Upadhyaya bewitching us with tales of being born in the caul. Here she is:

Halloween month is upon us and within me several emotions are brewing. This witch’s cauldron has a heavy ladle for all the chunky matter that comes along with Winter’s upcoming arrival. To me Autumn is a season of mysticism. Like magic all that was once green is now a rich orange, brown or red. We also have black now… dark mornings and evenings, witches robes and cats. There is deepness around too.

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In spirit of the supernatural, this month I would like to discuss being born in the caul. To be born in the caul (or en caul) means a baby was born with an intact amniotic sac (bag of waters) or with some of the amnion (membrane) covering the baby’s head.

These babies are often called caulbearers. They are a rare bunch – about one in every 1000 births. However, some suggest that it may be more common, especially in births without medical intervention.

Increasingly the amnion may be medically cut by a doctor or midwife. This is known as artificial rupture of the membranes (AROM). Of course, the bag of waters can break naturally – sometimes when a woman is in labor and sometimes when she is not. AROM can be a necessary and useful tool. For example, if a fetus’s health in the womb is in question (i.e. there is an irregular heart rate pattern) AROM can determine the presence of meconium (fetal poop). Meconium is a sign of fetal distress.

Also, AROM can be a useful tool to help progress labor, especially when the baby’s head is well applied to the cervix. Of course, AROM for a faster delivery should be employed only when the health of mom and/or baby is concerned. AROM to speed the labor process without an underlying cause is questionable. However, we live in an immediate paced world and taking time for nature does not always match with society at large.

Ooops, I just opened a big can of worms!

Maybe I’ll put them in my cauldron! Being born en caul is often referred to as having a veil at birth. Some believe that it is a sign of good luck or a good omen.

This was probably because in pre-antibiotic days, an intact bag of water helped to prevent infection (it still does). Some legends believe that caulbearers cannot drown. The following is a summary of some cultural beliefs or myths regarding being born in the caul:

• Hmong believe that caulbearers were monarchs in previous lives and the sac is part of their past attire. Hmong also believe that these babies will grow up strong, healthy, intelligent and prosperous. Furthermore, some Hmong save the sac, dry it, and keep it in a safe place for luck. It is then to be returned to the caulbearer at his/her funeral in order to further pass on the good luck.

• Croatian and some European countries believe that caulbearers are vampires.

• Icelandic and Scottish myth suggests that caulbearers have psychic powers.

• Buddhists often believe that a caulbearer will be a future Dalai Lama.

• Egyptian folklore insinuates that caulbearers are fated to a life of mysticism.

• According to British legend, those babies born with a veil will lead a life of travel, but will not fatigue.

Just remember that legends are passed on beliefs that lie somewhere on the spectrum between true and false. Infact, two of the references below state the exact opposite in regards to twins born en caul.

One source said that caulbearing twins were believed to be angels with protected souls and the other said that it was the mark of demonic souls.

Hmmmmmm…

There is a lot on the Internet regarding the mysticism of being born en caul. There are numerous chat groups and it is definitely a sub-culture. The en caul chatters reminded me of all those geeks in high school that played Dungeons and Dragons – my homeys!

Further reading on the subject can be found through the following links:

http://www.hmongnet.org/hmong-au/preg2.htm

http://www.wildrosemidwife.com/encaul.aspx

http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caul

Happy Halloween!

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Category: INSPIRED ACTION, Pregnancy

About the Author ()

Deepa is an Indian born, US raised and US trained nurse and midwife. She met her Irish husband in Afghanistan while volunteering as a midwife with MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres = Doctors without Borders). She and her family (husband and 2 young daughters) recently moved to the Comox Valley from the west coast of Scotland.

Comments (16)

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  1. susen brown says:

    For some reason at the age of 42 yrs I found myself searching to find out more of caul bearers as I was born with a caul but the midwife that delivered me new about the myths that goes with it that she kept it for herself and told my late mum that she will keep it safe for her of which she never return it and unfortunetly I never new the lady or traced her, but by know I think she might also have pass on. With some coincedance my second name was similar to her although I was named after my late grannies.

    Would like to find out more and recently I have been having dreams and then thinks happen a few days, week or month after and it feel that I have lived the experience already.

    any group I can contact in SA.

  2. dee says:

    If the owner of this site permits, I put up my website, I just released my book, BORN WITH A VEIL, NOW WHAT? I am also on facebook. Also, I am 70 years old and my mother was born with a veil also, 1908….there are a lot of facts out there that are not correct. Even wiki has all the wrong information. I wrote my book mainly for other caulbearers who have not figured out all of their gifts and signs yet. The gifts are wonderful for others who call upon caulbearers to console and inform them about their loved ones. The mystery is over, I have written my book which spans 70 years, as I said. Just be a believer…the rest will come…with a little work, lol

  3. Candis chastain says:

    Very interesting. My daughter was born this way.

  4. CAULBEARER says:

    please do not believe all the “untruths” that are out there, I’m in the process of FIXING wiki and the rest of the internet information, it is all wrong…read the book mentioned above or go to my website…this information is for all of you lost and uncertain what being born with a veil is.

  5. Aaron Sands says:

    My daughter was born in the caul on October 31,…. at 10:31am (Halloween date) I had to deliver her after the Dr stepped out of the room. She wasn’t having large contractions and then WHAMO…there she was. I caught her …She has the cord 3times around her neck and tied 3times…she was the 3rd child of mine…I am the 3rd child of my mother who was the 3rd child …my wife was my 3rd marriage . And all 3of my children’ were born by the same Dr…Dr HermanIII who is the third Dr in his family. Save to say our favorite number is 3!!!

  6. @Aaron…WOW, that is too amazing…definitely a sign from God for you…just amazing. Never met anybody with that many “coincidences”…what do you think it means? Was your whole family blessed with the number 3? Do you find everything you do is centered around the number 3?…super great…be blessed, three times! lol

  7. My 4th child was born in 3 and a half hours of hard labor with her amniotic sac intact ! By that i mean her and the sac were expelled from my body together you could see the fluid and her floating inside the sac before it burst! I dont know how often this happens or if the same thing applys here as with the caul but she is a very unique child.Love to hear back from anyone with any info or similar expierences

  8. darcien shubbar says:

    I am 31 and recently started seeing things that made me question my sanity when explaining to my mother she says i was born with a black veil and she actually told me when i was young but i dismissed her….when i began looking it up i was so freaked out….to the above with coincidence i only know from my grandma down but we are all females my grandmother had my mother in 61 and aunt in 64….my mother had me in 81 my sis in 84…my 1st was 01 2nd 04 and my sister and aunt 2girls each also both 1 yr sort at age 27 they began…if that me and my sisters oldest were born 10 yrs to the day apart and all 4 of our girls were born within a 3 wk period…also myself my mom and grandma have all had a loss of a boy before or immediately after birth…i also was born with a non genetic widows peak…andmay more strange things i couldn’t list all if anyone could help with insight on how to mentally deal…i have a list of mental diagnosis and have not slept without help since i can remember as well both my children required sleep help by 3….any feedback would help

  9. Kimberly says:

    Crazy. My 3rd child was born on October 31st Halloween in the sac. Have heard stories and can’t believe how many stories ate the same has mine.

  10. p haynes says:

    My mother waas born with a caul. I am 65 years old and still have it. It was kept in a bank envelope all these years. She was born a 7 months and was put in a shoe box and placed in an oven to keep her warm. She did have some physic awareness but I think she shook it off. She was a very lovely lady, small and quiet in nature. It was so neat to be able to pull the caul from the envelope and look at it when we we small. Now I would believe that it would crumble if I tried to remove it. I have just started to research the cauls and have found so much of what fits my mother. She passed several years ago.

  11. Elnora says:

    I was born with a caul. I drean things and they come to pass. I can sense when somethng bad is going to happen. I dream every night. I can feel if people are foneys.and the list goes on. I’m also an introvert. I like my privatesy and like to plan my week. I would like to know other caul people to try and learn myself. Oh I’ve also seen things I can not explain

  12. Brian Morgan says:

    I WAS BORN WITH A CAUL. I CANT SEE SPIRITS BUT I CAN FEEL THEIR PRESENTS, I WAS WALKING THROUGH A GRAVE YARD, WITH MY SISTER AFTER MY FATHER DIED, AND I WAS TRAILING BEHIND HER, LOOKING AT ALL THE OLD GRAVE STONES. WHEN I WALKED PASSED, TWO OLD ONEC FROM AROUND THE 18 HUNDREDS I PASSED THROUGH A SPIRIT, I COULD FEEL THE COLDNESS, GO RIGHT THROUGH ME, MY FACE TURNED WHITE, MY SISTER ASKED WHAT HAPPEND SO I EXPLAIND TO HER, ALL ABOUT MY GIFT. I CAN GO INTO HOUSES OR GRAVE YARD AND I CAN FEEL THE PRESENTS OF SPIRITS. WHEN SOMETHING GOOD IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN I CAN FEEL IT DEEP DOWN INSIDE, WHEN SOMEONE IS TRYING TO CON ME I KNOW IT.

  13. Brian Morgan says:

    one more thing i forgot to mention, when i was young i used to dream about flying, and even today i can still remember these dreams, about flying over houses, and buildings, the feeling was so wonderfull.

  14. Brian Morgan says:

    I was born with a caul, in scotland, I cant see spirits but a can feel their presents. one day i went to visit my father at the grave site, along with my sister, while walking along i was looking at old grave stones from around mid 18 hundreds, when walked inbetween 2 old stones i walked through an earth bound spirit, i turned white, and could feel the spirit, deep down inside myself, it was cold as ice. my sister asked what was wrong and i told her about my gift. also when i was younger i used to dream about flying in my dreams over houses and buildings, this is what happens when your spirit leaves your body, and its a wonderfull experence the great feeling of freedom, and still remember all of it even now.

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