Woman Gives Birth During Flight from Ghana to U.S. with Help from Medical Professionals on Board

A pregnant woman went into labor mid-flight while traveling over the Atlantic

United Airlines plane
United Airlines. Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty

A baby boy was born over 30,000 feet in the air during a transatlantic flight over the weekend.

A pregnant woman, whose baby wasn't due until the end of the month, went into labor during an 11-hour United Airlines flight from Accra, Ghana, to Washington, D.C., according to the airline.

Fortunately, the woman was assisted by fellow passengers that included a physician and a nurse. A United flight attendant who is a former nurse also helped out. Dr. Stephen Ansah-Addo, who was on board, told ABC News that he "couldn't believe it was happening," but remained calm to help deliver the baby boy.

"This is the reason why you go into medicine, to help people," Ansah-Addo told the outlet. "This is someone that really needed help, because there was nobody else there. This is the kind of medicine where you can make a difference in people's lives."

When the flight landed at Dulles International Airport, the mother and her newborn were met by airport paramedics.

"Our crew was amazing," United told PEOPLE. "They acted quickly, assisted the medical professionals on board, and ensured everyone stayed safe throughout the flight.

"And we were especially thrilled to see the plane land with one extra, especially beautiful, customer onboard," the company added.

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A similar incident occurred last year when a woman, who did not know she was pregnant, gave birth to a baby boy on a Delta Airlines flight.

In May 2021, Lavinia "Lavi" Mounga was flying from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Honolulu, Hawaii, when she unexpectedly gave birth to her son Raymond at just 29 weeks, according to a news release from Hawaii Pacific Health at the time.

Luckily for Mounga, there happened to be several passengers on board the flight for whom caring for a mother and her new baby is second nature: Dr. Dale Glenn, a family medicine physician with Hawaii Pacific Health, and NICU nurses Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho.

A spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously told the Washington Post that if a birth occurs somewhere in a "moving conveyance," such as an airplane, the child's place of birth will be listed as the place where they were first removed from the conveyance.

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