Mom gives birth on plane

2009-12-05 16:28
Los Angeles - A pregnant woman aboard a Southwest Airlines jet went into labour at about 9 100 metres over Colorado on Friday, and gave birth to a boy in a rare, mid-flight delivery cheered by other passengers.

The birth, assisted by two doctors who happened to be aboard, went without a hitch, and the Boeing 737 landed soon afterward in Denver, where mother and baby were met by medical personnel and taken to a hospital, airline spokesman Chris Mainz told Reuters.

"My understanding is that everything was very smooth, and they're doing well," Mainz said. The mother was not identified.

Mainz said he did not know the woman's age, how many months pregnant she had been, whether it was her first baby or whether she was flying alone or with others.

She went into labour about 100 miles north of the Colorado capital on Southwest Flight 441, en route from Chicago to Salt Lake City, according to Mainz.

"She rang her call button and notified the flight attendants that she was going into labour, and they situated her in the back of the airplane, in the aft galley, and that's where the baby was born," he said.

He said the other passengers, informed of the delivery by the crew, greeted the news with a round of applause.

Births on commercial airline flights are "pretty unusual", Mainz said, adding, "this is first I've heard of in several years".

He said Southwest Airlines does not place special restrictions on passengers who want to fly while pregnant.

And in the cheerful spirit of the event, he said the mother was not charged for the additional passenger, but she did not earn any extra frequent flyer miles, either.

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