I have had a great many conversations with expecting parents about the amniotic sac and it's purpose in labor and birth. There is a great misconception in the lay-community that a woman's bag of water has to break for baby to be born.
Consequentially, the same prevalent thought is found in the medical community. As a result, doctors and midwives will routinely offer to break the bag of water 'so that the baby can be born' - reiterating this already errant belief.
Guess what? A woman's water does not need to break for a baby to be born. In fact, leaving the water intact for as long as nature deems necessary has benefits.
Picture this: a nice, soft, pliable, water balloon opening your cervix vs a hairy skin-covered balloon. The one will dilate you more evenly and gently than the other.
Another benefit: the intact membranes keep baby safe from GBS and other bacteria living in the mom's birth canal and on the attendants hands.
The following video shows a beautiful water birth where the baby is born in the caul (membranes). The membranes remain intact throughout the labor and birth. It is one of single most beautiful videos I have ever seen. Unfortunately, it is very rare in todays micromanaged settings, but a feast to behold... Enjoy!