It's not very common to read or hear about babies being born while flying at 35,000 feet, especially that most airlines forbid heavily pregnant women from flying in the first place. However, some expecting mothers can find themselves in this exciting yet terrifying situation of giving birth to their child at 35,000 ft, since not all flights can make an emergency landing in time.
This is what happened recently on board of a Middle East Airlines (MEA) flight 435 when an expecting mother went into labor between Qatar and Lebanon. The plane, which departed from the capital Doha, reached over the Iraqi airspace when a pregnant woman from the Philippines got grabbed by a fast series of contractions, indicating an imminent delivery.
The crew members rushed to attend to her while the captain made a repeated announcement, asking if there was a doctor on board to assist with the delivery. There wasn't!
In the absence of a doctor, the MEA cabin crew were alerted to handle themselves the situation, assisting the lady with the delivery. With the help of the crew, the mother managed to deliver her infant, a baby girl, who was then taken care of by the cabin crew.
Meanwhile, to prevent complications, the captain diverted the flight to Kuwait and landed in its airport. The mother and the infant were escorted to a hospital to receive due medical attention and the flight resumed its operation to Beirut.
An amazing photo showing a member of Middle East Airlines cabin crew cradling the newborn wrapped in a shawl was posted on a Facebook page called Lebanese Plane Spotters.
The caption reads: "Middle East Airlines - Air Liban ME435 Doha-Beirut on the 27th diverted to Kuwait after a passenger onboard gave birth to a baby girl slightly after entering the Iraqi Airspace."
The post was liked and shared more than a thousand times online, where some people commented applauding the professional and well-trained flight crew members for their actions. Others shared some suggestions, a relevant one being that the baby should be named "Mea" after the airline plane she was born in.
MEA’s head, Mohammad Hout, praised the crew, stating that they worked "in a humanitarian way and proved their professionalism, sentiment, and zealousness [...]. We are proud of the crew and the way they acted and the level of training."