Lavinia Mounga Utah woman gives birth mid-air on Delta Airlines. Passenger had no idea she was pregnant gives premature birth to 29 week old baby.
Lavinia Mounga was flying to Hawaii on Wednesday with her family when she began having contractions midway along her six hour flight.
‘Overwhelmed in the best ways,’ she tweeted on Saturday.
On the morning of her flight, she tweeted: ‘Hey let’s getawaaaaaaaaay.’
Mounga’s story went viral after one passenger, Julia Hansen, announced the news on TikTok, saying in a clip: ‘A baby was just born on this plane.’
‘We delivered a 26-27 weeker in the airplane bathroom’
Footage captures passengers on board the Delta flight applauding and congratulating the woman upon giving birth.
Added Hansen: ‘To those wondering how she was able to fly in her third trimester, I sat next to her dad on the plane and he said they didn’t even know she was pregnant.’
Lani Bamfield, a nurse from Kansas City, wrote in a Facebook post: ‘If anyone would like to know how our trip to Hawaii is going… here’s how it started.
‘We delivered a 26-27 weeker in the airplane bathroom, in the middle of the ocean, with three NICU nurses, a Physicians assistant, and a family medicine doctor we were able to make it THREE HOURS before we could finally land but the baby and mom did great.
‘God was definitely with us up there’
The shocked mother and baby, who she named Raymond Kaimana Wade Kobe Lavaki Mounga, were taken to hospital on landing in Honolulu, in good health.
The baby’s father, Ethan Magalei, wrote on Facebook that he was stunned by the news, and described Raymond’s arrival as ‘a miracle’.
‘I don’t know how a patient gets so lucky’
The father who had yet to meet his son in person, thanked those who had assisted with the birth, and said he hopes to be ‘the best dad’.
Dr. Dale Glenn, a family physician at Straub Medical Center, was identified as the physician who helped give birth on the plane.
‘Usually they’re pretty clear, you know, ‘Is there a doctor on board?’ This call was not like this. This call was ‘Medical help!” Dr. Glenn told KHON. ‘I don’t know how a patient gets so lucky as to have three neonatal intensive care nurses on board the same flight when she is in emergency labor, but that was a situation we were in.’
Adding, ‘None of the equipment we have was suitable for a premature baby, and this baby was born at 29 weeks instead of the normal 40 weeks, right? So we made baby warmers out of bottles that were microwaved. We used an Apple Watch to measure the heart rate.’
Asked how it was possible that Mounga did not know she was pregnant, the physician offered the following, ‘… some women just don’t know they’re pregnant, and especially early in the pregnancy where the baby isn’t very large, and a woman has a history of irregular menstrual cycles,’
Adding, ‘They are some women who just don’t realize they’re carrying something. So when this patient got on the plane, she honestly did not know she was pregnant.’
Mid-air birth very uncommon
Jai Cunningham, a spokesman for the Hawaii Department of Transportation, said the pilot and crew followed protocol and alerted them of the situation prior to landing.
‘It was a medical assist, it wasn’t deemed a medical emergency so that sort of notifies you that mom and baby were in good shape,’ Cunningham said.
‘Then the crew emergency medical services group met them and were able to transport them to a nearby hospital.’
A spokesperson for Kapiolani Medical Center told KHON: ‘Mom and baby were brought to Kapiolani and are doing good. Mom has been discharged already but baby is still in the NICU as he was born early.’
Cunningham says this type of thing does not happen very often.
‘It’s not that common for childbirth, obviously cause most of the time once women get far along in their pregnancy doctors kind of advise them against doing such things cause you’re on a plane for five, six, seven hours,’ he said.
A spokesperson from Delta Airlines confirmed in a statement the baby was born aboard their fight.
‘The safety of our crew and customers is our top priority,’ they said.
‘Our crews are well trained to manage a number of on board medical scenarios. Every aircraft is equipped with medical equipment and crews have access to expert counsel during flight when an issue occurs.’
Mounga’s sister has launched a GoFundMe to pay for their medical costs, until the family can return to Utah.
‘Our miracle baby nephew was born with three hours left on our flight and was such a strong trooper,’ she wrote.
‘Our sister did not know she was pregnant so she was just as shocked as the rest of us when our nephew was born!
‘Lavinia & baby will be staying in Hawaii longer while baby gets healthy enough to fly back home to Utah.’
She added: ‘We love our little baby and can’t wait til we are able to bring him back home to Utah.’