August 22: A pregnant women on Emirates Airline Flight 322 from Dubai to Manilla went into labor prematurely and gave birth in the bathroom alone.
Those bathrooms are barely big enough for a pregnant women to fit into let alone maneuver for birth. But it happened. Two nurses and four flight attendants helped eventually. But it seems the bulk of the work was done by mom, quietly and possibly shamefully– she never asked for help.
Another passenger, a nurse, noticed the women in pain, heading to the bathroom. She went back to check on her and found the baby had been born in the toilet, not looking entirely well (“bluish, brownish.”). The nurse helped clear the baby’s mouth and nose of any fluid and kept the baby warm with LED reading lights and blankets. (I would hope that mom was holding the baby, too, as skin-to-skin contact is highly beneficial and sometimes life-saving for premature babies.)
The plane made an emergency landing in Vietnam– the mom has been released from the hospital but the baby– who was only 27 weeks–is still in the NICU.
The thing I find most disturbing about this story is that the mother felt she had to take care of this birth all alone in a disgusting toilet on the airplane. Women do tend to want to get some privacy to give birth but I find it sad that she felt she felt she couldn’t ask for help. If this happens to you (it won’t, it hardly ever does) here’s my advice: ask the flight attendants to clear the first class cabin! Also, drinking alcohol can inhibit labor so some doctors advice gin and tonics until landing….
I guess the mom’s experience wasn’t all that bad though. She named her baby EK after the Emirates Flight code!
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