baby

A "very calm" woman has given birth on a plane.

You’d think you’d be pretty safe catching a plane at seven months pregnant. What are the chances of going into labour at 30,000 feet, right?

Well, that’s exactly what transpired for an expectant mum on a Cebu Pacific flight from Dubai to Manila on Sunday.

Missy Berberabe Umandal was sitting nearby and shared the story of the birth, as well as her photos, on Facebook. She says the woman started having contractions mid-flight.

“Flight attendants started calling for medical assistance, and luckily there were two nurses among the passengers. She was already crowning, so she was brought to the more spacious area in front of the plane,” Umandal explained.

“We only heard one semi-loud screech and a few seconds later there were tinier, cute screeches, and it was when we knew the baby was born. Luckily, she only had to push ONCE. Moments later, the woman got up to go back to her seat, baby in arms (mighty strong, I might say).

“There were two other babies with us in the front row, and one of the passengers had a suitcase full of infant clothes and necessities, which could not have come at a better time. The flight attendants took a shelf from the cabinets and filled it with mineral water, which became a makeshift washbasin to clean the baby in.”

Umandal says it sounded like the mother was planning to name the baby “Haven”.

What a birth story. Photo courtesy Missy Berberabe Umandal.

The plane made an emergency landing in India to check out the baby's health, since the birth was two months premature.

What was supposed to be a nine-hour flight took 18 hours, but Umandal says the passengers weren't complaining. "Everyone in that plane was blessed."

Umandal later told the Khaleej Times she was less than a metre away from the actual birth, although she didn't see it.

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"A wall blocked us from seeing it, and they also closed the curtains. I only relied on observing the flight attendants' reactions, the nurse's feet covered in blood popping outside the curtains, and, for lack of a better term, eavesdropping. But I was closest to the scene, as I was seated in front."

Umandal has shared more details of the birth with Mamamia.

"Almost everyone was asleep," she remembers.

"I just assume they woke up when one of the flight attendants called for medical assistance. Also, the flight attendants, for once, I saw panic ever so slightly. I'm pretty sure they weren't trained thoroughly for such a dilemma, but they tried their best to remain calm as not to disturb the other passengers.

Every birth is a miracle, but perhaps this one more so than most. Photo courtesy Missy Berberabe Umandal.

"The woman seemed VERY calm throughout the whole ordeal. At the back of her mind, she probably thought, 'I can't panic. I am about to bring life in this world, and a mother cannot fear anything.'"

Umandal says she's never been terrified of birth.

"To become a mother is one of my ultimate dreams, and this whole story really made me appreciate my own mother even more. Mothers don't get a lot of credit, but they really should. That baby born in the plane was a living, breathing, miracle... and it was that mother who made that happen too," she says.

Early reports said that the baby would receive a lifetime of free flights on Cebu Pacific. Well, not quite, but almost, according to Cebu Pacific President Lance Gokongwei.

"To celebrate this momentous occasion in the life of one of our passengers, CEB awards Baby Haven one million GetGo points, which she can use to fly with us for free," he says.

Did you start having contractions at an awkward moment?

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