Ahhh, being born in the caul. It is considered an ‘auspicious’ event, as it does not happen often due to the bag of water (or amniotic sac) usually breaking during transition - or more recently in our hospitalized birthing culture, due to doctors breaking baby’s water.
Being born in the caul means the baby is born with the amniotic sac, the home around the baby, still in tact. It is pretty cool to see the bag of waters bulging out of the mother before the baby is born.
It is thought that babies who are born in the caul are born with the veil between the worlds in tact, hence they are able to ‘see’ both worlds, or have highly intuitive/psychic abilities.
In the late 1800’s the caul became a talisman coveted by sailors, as it was thought that the ‘caul’ kept the waters safe, so sailors would be safe in the waters if they had a piece of the caul with them. It became a hot black market item back then.
In more recent popular culture, Jessica Alba’s second daughter was born in the caul and was named after that experience. ”The experience actually inspired Haven’s name, Jess says. “When I was in recovery we still hadn’t chosen her name. Cash picked her up and said she came into the world in her ‘safe haven’ and it clicked right then for both of us.” (People Magazine)
Every time one of my mammas births the baby in the caul, I take the caul and dry it out on a piece of tin foils so that she can make talismans out of it for friends and family.