Childbirth On A Plane

May 6, 2010

in Baby & Kid Stories

A while back I was one a first class flight from Haiti to New York a row behind the front and in the middle. It was a relatively empty flight (about 1/2 to 3/4 full), everything was going smooth enough and I was just getting set to snooze. Pretty soon I watched a FA ask the passengers in the front right side row to move to different seats for another passenger. As soon as the front row passengers got all their things gathered up another FA came up from coach with her arm around what appeared to be a young Haitian woman wrapped in a blanket. As the FA takes the woman to the front row and gets her settled I noticed that this woman has what appears to be about a 5 to 7 month baby bump, and the woman breathing as if she is in labor!

The FA stays by this passenger’s side and pretty soon she signals to another FA and we hear an announcement for the need of a doctor for a medical emergency. A middle-aged man a few rows behind me stands and makes his way to the front to examine the woman. He and the FA are talking to the young passenger in very hushed tones and before long more FAs show up with blankets and start partitioning the whole first row off with them! We all sat in eerie silence, no one else on the plane was able to take their eyes off the blanket cubicle that is now the front row of the plane. After what seemed like an eternity I hear a hushed sound of shock from the FA in the blanket cubicle, then the sound of the air mask being taken down, then I hear someone in that area exclaim “Her head is too small for the mask!” A few more tense moments and the sound of a baby crying fills the cabin!

About 20 minutes later we land to see EMTs fill the cabin and help the young Haitian woman who had just given birth in the air to the smallest infant I have ever seen. The baby must have been at least 2 months premature, but it looked healthy.

Not really a FFH, but definitely one worth noting for the courage and quick thinking of one particular FA.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Karl May 7, 2010 at 10:28 am

Another Haitian wants her baby born in the US, so she can claim citizenship for baby and can stay here legally. I wonder what the status would be in this case since it was born over international waters or was it born over the US?


CLMT Lady May 7, 2010 at 11:02 am

If she was on a plane to the US she had to have had papers (visa or otherwise)… who is to say that she is not a citizen?!?! Maybe she was visiting family and trying to get home before the baby came. 2 months premature is a shocker for anyone… and certainly not planned.


Dina May 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Exactly. I find it depressing that someone making wild assumptions is the first comment on this entry…

I suppose my mom's former boss wanted her son to have Mexican citizenship when she delivered prematurely on vacation? 😛


Shmai May 8, 2010 at 6:56 am

I don't think citizenship had anything to do with this. The mother, upon hearing an urban legend, wants her baby born on a plane so the child can get free airline tickets for life 🙂


First Man May 8, 2010 at 7:53 am



Muzition June 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Sounds like things went pretty smoothly.


ger July 5, 2010 at 2:32 pm

When I heard the baby scream ….. I would have quitly asked an FA for a drink and toasted the birth of a new and innocent child .


Tux November 15, 2010 at 8:48 am

I wonder if nervousness from flying caused a premature labor…


Amber May 18, 2016 at 8:56 am

What a scary flight for the new mom. A couple months premature can be dangerous for the baby.


Diablo January 6, 2017 at 12:36 am

Now that's something that doesn't happen everyday!


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