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New Mum ‘Speechless’ After Rare 'Mermaid' Birth

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New Mum ‘Speechless’ After Rare 'Mermaid' Birth

A new mum was shocked after her son’s delivery turned out to be a rare ‘mermaid’ birth, which her midwives had never seen before.  

Jennifer Petrie and boyfriend Theo Martins had travelled to Ormskirk Hospital, Lancashire, where she gave birth in a birthing pool.  

Jennifer said she felt confused by the process, as she hadn’t felt her waters break – something that can often happen before or during labour.  

Thankfully, their son Rio Petrie Martins was born without any complications on Thursday 16 December, with his amniotic sac only bursting when he was picked up from the pool. 


She said: "Basically, my water never broke. The amniotic sack where the water gushes out when you're in labour never broke which is quite rare to happen.

"When the baby was born he was still encased in the balloon. 

Credit: Liverpool Echo
Credit: Liverpool Echo

"It almost looked like he was born in a water balloon. It was a water birth so the amniotic sack with the baby inside gushed into the pool still intact. He looked like [he was in] a cocoon. It only burst when he was picked up and then he was birthed and out of it. 


"The midwives were amazed because they were saying a lot of midwives don't ever see it in their career because it's such a rare thing to happen.

"The midwives that were there were like 'oh my God this is amazing'. It's just so rare that a lot of people don't see it." 

Rio’s dad Theo added: "One of the midwives had seen it once before and the other two hadn't seen it." 

Stock image. Credit: Alamy
Stock image. Credit: Alamy

The two parents saw the rare event as a sign of good lucky, as little Rio was born having no complications and mum Jennifer didn’t need any pain relief.  

The birth, which is known as an en caul birth – but sometimes also known as a ‘mermaid birth’ - is said to happen roughly every one in 80,000 births. 

"I feel as though it made it more magical because everyone was a lot more in awe of what was going on and people were saying how lucky it was and how amazing it was,” Jennifer said. 

"It's our firstborn child as well so it kind of made it a lot more magical and exciting, especially with the fuss that was being caused over it. It was really nice." 

Featured Image Credit: Liverpool Echo

Topics: UK News

Jess Hardiman
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