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Woman who gives birth halfway through flight

Lavinia Mounga holds her tiny baby on board the plane (Picture: GoFundMe)

A woman who had no idea she was pregnant unexpectedly gave birth prematurely at 29 weeks in the middle of a flight. Lavinia Mounga was travelling with her family from Utah to Hawaii on Wednesday when she began having contractions. Thankfully for her, a doctor and a team of nurses happened to be on board and sprang into action. ‘About halfway through the flight, there was an emergency call,’ Dr Dale Glenn said. ‘I’ve experienced this before and usually they’re pretty clear asking if there is a doctor on board.

‘This call was not like this – it was fairly urgent.’ Dr Glenn was joined by Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho, three neonatal intensive care nurses who were also in the right place at the right time. With no special equipment, the group had to get creative, using shoelaces to cut and tie the umbilical cord and a smartwatch to measure the baby’s heart rate. Dr Glenn said: ‘We’re all trying to work in a very small, confined space in an airplane, which is pretty challenging. But the teamwork was great.’


The unexpected delivery also became viral on TikTok after fellow passenger Julia Hansen filmed the drama on the plane, which landed three hours later. Ms Hansen told The Washington Post the situation initially caused a commotion, but other passengers were pretty ‘casual’ about it by the end of the flight. ‘Everyone just kind of got up, got their carry-on and left,’ Ms Hansen said. Medical crews were waiting for Lavinia and her newborn son Raymond at the airport in Honolulu to help them get to hospital. The three nurses visited the new mother on Friday and said it was an emotional reunion.

‘We all just teared up. She called us family and said we’re all his aunties, and it was so great to see them,’ Ms Ho said. Lavinia has since been discharged, but baby Raymond will remain in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) until he is ready to go home. ‘It has been very overwhelming,’ the mum said. ‘I’m just so lucky that there were three NICU nurses and a doctor on the plane to help me, and help stabilise him and make sure he was okay for the duration of the flight.’ –