On December 16, 2021, at Orsmskirk Hospital in England, Jennifer Petrie given birth to a little boy “born with his hair done”, that is to say that the baby came into the world still wrapped in the amniotic fluid sac still intact. The pouch therefore never ruptured during childbirth.
The young mother explained to the British media Liverpool Echo that she quickly realized that something was wrong when the labor started (source 1). She ended up going to the hospital where she gave birth in a birthing pool of little Rio Petrie Martins. “Actually, my water never broke. The amniotic sac, where water spurts out when you’re in labor, has never ruptured, which is quite rare. When the baby was born, he was still locked in the balloon,” Jennifer Petrie told the British newspaper.
The amniotic fluid sac ruptured only when the midwives took the baby in their arms. “The midwives were amazed. They said they never saw that in their careers (…)”, specifies the young mother.
A baby “born with a cap”, an extremely rare phenomenon
such a birth is a phenomenon extremely rare. It is estimated that on average one in 80,000 babies is born “capped”, which corresponds to 0.00125% of births.
However, several cases have been identified around the world., especially at Brazil where the Brazilian photographer, Jana Brasil, specialized in childbirth photos, had published in 2019 on his Instagram account several photos of the birth of this baby born by caesarean section “under the cephalic cap”.
A baby “born capped”, not to be confused with the mermaid syndrome
Even though the midwives and little Rio’s mother nicknamed him “baby mermaid”, this birth has nothing to do with thesirenomelia. Also called the “mermaid syndrome”, sirenomelia is a rare disease where the infant is born with the legs stuck in them. It affects approximately one in 100,000 babies and is often fatal for the baby.
In the video below, the interviewed midwife recounts the birth of a “capped” baby (from 3 min 10 sec)