A passenger aboard a flight captured highlights of what it was like to be on board while a woman gave birth to a baby.

By Maressa Brown
April 30, 2021
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An image of an airplane on a colorful background.
Credit: Getty Images. Art Jillian Sellers.

Although every expectant parent is eager to plan the details of their labor and delivery, most who've gone through the process will tell you that you learn that you can only control so much. One new mom must've realized that rather quickly after going into labor and delivering her newborn on a flight from Salt Lake City to Hawaii. The story of her labor and delivery was recently documented in a viral TikTok.

Fellow passenger, TikTok user @JuliaBernice, shared that a baby had just been born on the flight. She cuts to a moment in which the pilot can be heard over the intercom noting, "As most of you have probably heard, we just had a child birth on the aircraft, let's a nice round of applause for the mother. Congratulations."

Then, after a three-hour delay, the plane reached its destination, and passengers were asked to remain seated while the new mom—who was later identified in an AP report as Lavinia "Lavi" Mounga—received medical assistance to disembark. The TikTok then shows the mom, cradling her little one, being wheeled off the aircraft in a wheelchair. Passengers attempted to catch a glimpse of the new addition and offered her warm, congratulatory wishes as she passed by.

The clip has gone majorly viral since it was posted, garnering comments about how much money the mom likely saved by avoiding a hospital birth, the fact that the baby's astrological birth chart will "never be accurate," and even one from AOC about which country will claim the baby.

The AP later reported that thankfully, a family physician named Dr. Dale Glenn and a team of neonatal intensive care unit nurses from North Kansas City Hospital were on board to help deliver the Mounga's baby.

"About halfway through the flight, there was an emergency call, and I've experienced this before and usually they're pretty clear asking if there is a doctor on board," Glenn said in a Hawaii Pacific Health press release. "This call was not like this, and it was fairly urgent."

The doctor and nurses worked together as a team to deliver the preemie, who was born at just 29 weeks, but lacking special equipment, they innovated with shoelaces to cut and tie the umbilical cord and a smartwatch to measure the baby's heart rate. "We're all trying to work in a very small, confined space in an airplane, which is pretty challenging. But the teamwork was great," Glenn said.

When the plane landed, Mounga and her new arrival were ushered off to the ER where the baby was moved to the NICU. According to Glenn, "Baby and mom are both doing great."

According to the press release, the nurses even had the chance to visit Mounga and baby last week, and the new mom called them her son's "aunties."

As for the new mom, Mounga said the experience "has been very overwhelming." She added, "I'm just so lucky that there were three NICU nurses and a doctor on the plane to help me, and help stabilize him and make sure he was OK for the duration of the flight."

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