ASK A MORTICIAN- Coffin Birth


Attention viewers For the more delicate among you, a warning… that today, we will be talking about something quite visceral, and quite intense. If you are forced to click away, please note that you have your fellow viewers to blame, for they will Not. Stop. Asking. Driving me… MAD. Coffin birth is the Loch Ness Monster of death phenomenon. A rarely seen, shadowy concept, that some will say is not even true. But, people remain fascinated. I found a reference to coffin birth all the way back in 1912, in a textbook of obstetrics. As a fun exercise, please try to say “textbook of obstetrics” five times fast [says “textbook of obestrics a bunch of times in a sped up mouse voice] Nope. Nope, can’t do it. I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to do an episode on this, but..we don’t shy away from the hard conversations now, do we? By forensic definition, A coffin birth is what can happen 48 to 72 hours after the death of a pregnant woman. As the gas in her abdomen builds up, due to decomposition The pressure rises to the point that it presses on the uterus so intensely that the unborn fetus is expelled, or partly expelled from the mother’s body. The technical name for coffin birth isn’t “Coffin Birth” it’s Extrusion meaning the act of pushing or thrusting out. Which… I did not know. How this is construed with the general public- if they even come across it is, [Surfer voice] “Dude! Did you know a corpse can like, give birth? CRAZY!” Although, obviously if the mother has been deceased long enough for decomposition to occur, The fetus will also be deceased when it’s expelled It’s not like a corpse and the corpse’s beautiful, bouncing, baby boy. [spring noise] Congrats! No, young man on the internet. It’s not so much that coffin birth hasn’t happened, or doesn’t happen, as it may be over reported. When there is another biological explanation. For example, Laci Peterson was murdered by her husband, Scott and left in the San Francisco bay when she was eight months pregnant Since Laci’s body and the body of the male fetus were found separately, it was widely reported at the time that it had been a coffin birth When in fact, medical examiners discovered that Laci’s stomach had ruptured due to decomposition causing her internal organs, including the fetus to be washed out into the bay I told you… this was rough… Sorry Moms There are multiple examples of coffin birth through history Shank mentions that of a woman dying at 5 PM, a child having two front teeth was born at 3 AM. Are babies usually born… with teeth? I’m sure that’s maybe a thing that happens but a baby with two front teeth sounds like the creepiest story of them all. [Creepy baby cry] [fast violin music] [baby voice] “Mother” [cries] But, we know better than to look at a record from 400 years ago and say [Chipmunk voice] “Yep, that totally and completely happened exactly as this record from 1633 said it did.” It can be even more complicated in bioarchaeology You can excavate a grave and find a skeletal woman and a skeletal child but was that a case where both mother and child died in childbirth and were buried together? Or was the fetus expelled postmortem? In an Anglo-Saxon grave from the early Middle Ages they found an infant skeleton lying across the pelvis of the mother. This might normally have been attributed to a coffin birth but the archaeologists in this case argued first of all, the head was not in the direction it should be facing with the head of the fetus opposite the head of the mother Second, this was a body buried directly in the dirt. The packed in dirt would not allow a fetus to expel. That’s why you need the coffin in “coffin birth” It needs space to happen. Due to modern chemical preservation, coffin birth is rarer than ever before. But in 2005, the body of a female heroin addict was discovered in an apartment in Hamburg, Germany. She was eight months pregnant when she died and both the head and half the chest were found coming out of the birth canal. Toxicology showed no signs of a live birth having happened but heroin may have been involved in the contractions of the uterus that expelled the baby. One of the more tragic situations you can conceive of but it did give modern forensics a chance to really see what postmortem fetal extrusion looks and behaves like. I’ll link the case study below. That’s it! You bravely survived postmortem fetal extrusion and in case you were wondering, yes- there is a metal band named Coffin Birth. Two, actually that I could find. Surprise… surprise Ask a Mortician is brought to you with support from People’s Memorial Association and the Co-op Funeral Home and donations from viewers like you. [baby voice] “Mother” [cries]

100 Replies to “ASK A MORTICIAN- Coffin Birth”

  1. My second youngest sister was born with a BUNCH of teeth, it was very creepy. I heard sometimes the teeth are removed? They left hers in.

  2. i was Born with a Tooth.
    unfortunately for my Mother it was only found out as i bit into her nipple while breastfeeding.

  3. I thought that laci petersons baby was alive then died. It was said that he was found with fishing wire wrapped around his neck that looked like it wasnt an accident. I might be thinking of another case but

  4. Caitlin, you destroyed every pre conceived idea I had about morticians. Every time I thought of on as a kid I thought about the tall man from Phantasm. THE FUNERAL IS ABOUT TO BEGIN SIR dude.

  5. How did I end up here?Thinking of hitting the subscribe button, but don’t want to get hooked on the videos..I’m thinking that the mummy from (tales the crypt ) will be popping up any moment….::I think I see Dead People!

  6. … so babys pop out of dead women, Poop comes out to… what about other body fluids? Period Blood? Breast Milk?

  7. Question.if the mother passes say at the hospital do they try to go ahead and try to save the baby.jw and yes a baby can be. Born with teeth.my middle daughter had several and those teeth even after her baby teeth came out those teeth had a different color to them

  8. Actually babies can be born with teeth and have even been born with full sets. I believe they are called natal teeth. It's very interesting.

  9. My first exposure to "coffin birth" was a photo of a woman's skeleton with a partially extruded fetal skeleton found in a dilapidated hut. The remains were discovered many years after the genocide in Rwanda.

  10. I witnessed this when me and some family stopped to move a dead deer out of the road and as we moved it, it gave birth and I been mortified since then.

  11. I’d love for you to revisit this topic and discuss the Chris Watts case. The pregnant wife, Shan’ann, that was murdered by him was said to have a coffin birth

  12. I feel like if I was to die while pregnant and the baby is far along enough to survive on the outside, someone better cut me open and get the baby out so at least my child can live! Don't let it die! Dang!

  13. I can easily hear any of this and not think twice but if I hear that a dog broke it’s paw I feel immense emotional pain

  14. I found you through a suggestion because of the other videos I watch. I thought It would be too macabre for me, especially since I suffer from chronic depression. I must tell you that I find you hysterically funny and are able to convey the most horrendous things in a digestible way. I miss new videos from you, and keep rewatching the old ones. You are so great, that my wife (who’s not into any of this), adores you. I also recommend you to a friend that found you funny as well. I am going to go see you at the Strand in NYC. I wish you continued success, and maintain that beautiful sense of humor of yours and your feminism.💕

  15. How would this work with a larger foetus? Your cervix has to open and you’d have to push. Even with the body pushing it out🤔

  16. Thanks for the info. Chris Watts also killed his pregnant wife. Buried her in the ground. When investigators dug up her body baby Niko was partially out too. I was wondering how that happened. I imagined he was trying to escape, poor little guy. I had nightmares about him being stuck in his moms body. Ugh it's sickening.

  17. She did not look as comfortable or professional in talking about this subject. By the end I felt her discomfort in my stomach a feeling I rarely feel when she speaks. That feeling that I usually feel is “kindred spirit” or “FB”

  18. That's hysterical!! My 3rd daughter was born with 2 teeth. I freaked out but the nurse assured me it was not uncommon and they call it " Milk teeth ", and not to worry they disappear. She was right they did… ROFLMAO

  19. Was a case around 25 years ago in England uk, not coffin birth, a little different, but a mother died in a car crash just outside of the hospital she was on her way too, she was 8 pregnant with twins and was going for a check up,
    Luckily enough it literally happened on a cross roads outside of the hospital, took over 4 hours to cut her free, she died instantly, but paramedics was able to keep her system going long enough for her to reach the theatre and have the babies delivered,,
    Luckily the husband who was in the car too, received no serious injuries, both babies survived with no serious injuries,
    Her body did try to deliver straight away, but they managed to stop the process till they got her to theatre.

    Also another cases are recordered where a mother dies for different reasons, but they are able to keep the body/system alive for weeks till the baby is born, it’s amazing how much our body can tolerate and how long they can keep our systems once the brain/soul passes

  20. Sadly another case I watched on a documentary, can find the link if you wish, was a grave with 3 babies and female, they wasn’t sure if she was mother to all three, or if she died in childbirth and happen to be other babies died at the same time and put them in with her. Which is a common practice, even today,
    But worked out through dna, she was mother to all 3, triplets,
    She gave birth the the first two, not sure if live births. But she died during the third, and through their tests they decided she did have a coffin birth with the third,
    The remains where very old. And looked like the father at the time either decided he couldn’t cope with looking after two new borns on his own, we are talking like 800yrs ago or they died at birth, but one baby was laid in her arms the other near her head. So mother two delivered babies, and then had a coffin birth with the third. Very very sad story,

    They did find a second grave, very close to hers with the head very close to the first grave but going out in the right direction from hers, very unusual, but can’t remember if they dna tested any links between the two graves

  21. Also just quick thing, you said the baby heads was in the wrong direction for it too be a coffin birth, many moons ago, plenty of women died of breach births, I was a breach baby, plus I nearly died when my son decided to turn and become breach in labour, foot out, waters broke, foot back in, then decided to put both feet on my hips and got himself stuck, luckily I was in hospital as was down for a Cz, ended up having an emergency one, but if I was at home, he would had died, so the posdibilies are very high for breach births resulting in getting stuck and both dying, more so before medical intervention

  22. I was born with a tooth! It was actually loose when I was born, so they pulled it at my first dentist appointment, fearing that it would fall out and be inhaled. I didn't grow an adult tooth there til I was in second grade. I was super shy and hated when my classmates would ask about it.

  23. I cant fathom why any women pregnant would risk her unborn child to all of her idiotic drug usage its not the poor infants fault that its mother is an idiot crack head but do u really have to drink smoke take drugs & fornicate while ur baby is growing inside you. At least wait till its born give it up for adoption then go & crack & drink yourself to death.since you apparently have no self worth about you live & don't learn i guess very sad.

  24. There is actually an interesting case of coffin birth discovered from a woman who died bearing triplets from the end of the Roman era in Briton. One of the few soil burials where they found a good array of fetal bones from all three of the children; one she bore, one most likely was a breech and caused her death and was the subsequent coffin birth, and the third remained in-utero. Very cool case study.

  25. My son was born with 2 bottom teeth 😂 i was freakin out when he let out his first cry i was like what the hell is in his mouth and they snatched him away and said omg mommy he has two teeth 😂 it was such a rare momment all the nurses came to see him and took pics . 😂 i got out of the labor and delivery with an appointment for dentist at 1 week old 😂

  26. Hey, just wondering if coffins come in different lengths? If you are a really tall person do they make them ex long? Or do they do something different for midgets? Just curious. Thanks

  27. The Lacy Petterson case will forever haunt me. Imagine, excited to go our with your husband on Christmas Eve… then realize that he planned on killing you. I think he may had killed her at home. Stupid guy… Gents, don't kill your beloved, just leave the country.

  28. A metal band named Coffin Birth. Not one, bit two of them! And she thought enough to look for them! 😅😂🤣

  29. You crack me up🤣, you also explain in a not so scary way, the things that happen after death. I've always been frightened about the thought of dying, but you have added a different spin in the whole thing!

  30. My daughter who was born 3/3/81 was born with her two bottom teeth. Breast feeding was extremely difficult and she had her first dental appointment at just a few weeks old. I lost her 7/20/2019 😔. While it is rare, it happens

  31. Why this stuff would freak anyone out, I don’t get. We all were born, we all will die. Simple. As someone once said, death is a part of life, the end part. So, get over it.

  32. Chris watts the “thing” who killed his family consisting of his two daughters, pregnant wife, and in turn his 13wk old son to be. Buried his wife directly in the ground (no coffin or box) yet she when found it was discovered to have had a “coffin” birth. Do you think this may have been possible due to say loose earth or maybe not to deep a grave being dug?. It’s absolutely horrible but if it’s not possible for it to happen without the coffin then it begs the question of did something else happen to cause this that maybe authorities have missed. Because he deserves every god damm second he got put away for but the more the merrier

  33. I lived in Laci Peterson's nabiorhood during all the devastation and search for her. It was known that the baby was decapitated…….. Not sure if that still adds her to this scenario.
    Interesting facts, Thanks !!!

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