What Is A Veiled Birth?

A veiled birth is called that during which the amniotic bag, which contains the water, does not break, and the baby is born submerged in the amniotic fluid wrapped in the bag as a “veil”.

It is a highly infrequent phenomenon because, due to the pressure exerted by the contractions, the amniotic bag usually ruptures spontaneously during dilation and, if not, during childbirth.

The veiled birth does not entail any advantage for the mother or the fetus, but it offers impressive images by allowing us to see the fetus in the same habitat that it had in the womb. It is a volatile moment, because once the newborn is abroad, the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, which will stop flowing blood through the umbilical cord and it will be necessary to immediately break the amniotic sac so that the baby begins to breathe , because outside it can no longer survive immersed in liquid as it did in the womb.

What happens if the amniotic sac does not rupture?

During childbirth, it is quite common for the obstetrician or midwife to artificially break the amniotic sac to stimulate labor. The loss of water volume will cause the uterine size to reduce and this is a trigger for contractions. It is a fairly resistant fabric, as if it were a balloon, it withstands pressure relatively well, but it is much more delicate if we tear it with a sharp object. There are some instruments designed for this purpose, called lancets, a thin, sterile, disposable wand with a discreetly sharp tip that is carefully inserted into the vagina and through the opening of the cervix when it is dilated and can easily tear the membrane artificially breaking the bag of waters.

The waters, under normal conditions, are transparent or slightly whitish. In the event that the fetus has emitted meconium before birth (the name given to the newborn’s first stool), the waters may have a yellowish-green coloration. This may indicate that there is fetal distress and should be evaluated by a specialist as soon as possible.

What composition does amniotic fluid have?

The amniotic sac is made up of two membranes, the amnion and the chorion, which merge into one, very thin, practically transparent and made of a very resistant elastic membranous material, and which under normal conditions endures intact throughout the pregnancy. It is a fluid-filled envelope in which the fetus develops. The liquid is 99% water, with mineral salts, hormones… and hair and fat particles that surround the skin of the fetus.

During the first weeks of pregnancy it is basically formed from maternal plasma transudate, but from the third month of pregnancy it is mostly fetal urine.

It has a very important function: it allows the growth of the fetus without being subjected to external pressure, so that its muscles can move freely and develop symmetrically, it also allows the fetal lung to expand correctly throughout the pregnancy.

Another function of the amniotic fluid and the bag: it acts as a buffer against possible external impacts and acts as a barrier so that the environment in which the fetus develops is hermetic and isolated from outside germs.

How much liquid is there?

The amount of amniotic fluid is variable from one pregnancy to another . At the end of pregnancy it has a volume of between half and a liter and when there is less than usual it is called oligoamnios, and one of the causes that must be ruled out is fetal kidney problems since we have already mentioned that amniotic fluid is basically fetal urine. When there is more than necessary, we call it polyhydramnios and, in this case, gastrointestinal problems that prevent the fetus from swallowing liquid must be ruled out.

When it ruptures prematurely , it is a challenge, because the fetal environment is no longer sterile and is susceptible to infection, and in the absence of amniotic fluid or with very little of it, the fetus would have problems developing its skeleton and lung tissue correctly.

When this occurs in the early stages of pregnancy, absolute rest is indicated, sometimes antibiotics and sometimes it can be resealed and, if not, it puts the pregnancy at risk or a premature birth must be faced.

When this occurs at term of pregnancy, it is left to spontaneous evolution, since very often this same fact triggers labor contractions. But if they do not occur spontaneously, labor must be induced with medication, since ideally the fetus should be born within 24 hours of ruptured bag to minimize the risk of infection.

In nature there is nothing superfluous, everything has its function, the same happens with the amniotic sac, which must endure intact until the end of pregnancy, and ideally until labor begins, but beyond that it has no other role than to offer us images and videos that go viral on social networks.

What you should know…

A veiled birth is called that during which the amniotic bag, which contains the water, does not break, and the baby is born submerged in the amniotic fluid wrapped in the bag as a “veil”.

During childbirth, it is quite common for the obstetrician or midwife to artificially break the amniotic sac to stimulate labor. The loss of water volume will cause the uterine size to reduce and this is a trigger for contractions.

When it ruptures prematurely it is a challenge, because the fetal environment is no longer sterile and is susceptible to infection and, in the absence of amniotic fluid or with very little of it, the fetus would have problems properly developing its skeleton and lung tissue.

Also Read: Musculoskeletal Disorders: What Are The Causes?

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