It’s a Good Day to Give Birth – On a Plane?


A passenger on a flight from Siberia to Armenia shocked the entire crew when she gave birth midflight. Armina Babayan, who claimed to be 6 ½ months pregnant during check-in but was obviously further along than she admitted, went into labor during the flight and Asmik Gevondyan, a flight attendant, organized the delivery.

To honor the flight attendant for exceptional service under stress, the new mother named her baby Asmik, after the flight attendant who helped deliver her sweet baby into the world. That’s one way to get someone to name their child after you.

It’s not clear why Ms. Babayan lied about how far along she was in the pregnancy though I would assume it had something to do with the fact that she felt that she needed to be in Armenia and not Siberia. Doctors recommend that you don’t fly after 35 weeks. Depending on the airline, pregnant women could be required to have a doctor’s release anytime they fly within the last month of pregnancy.

Maybe Ms. Babayan really needed to get out of Siberia? Maybe she really needed to get to Armenia? Or maybe she really didn’t think she was in danger of going into labor? Either way, I’d say she’s learned her lesson. Thankfully, Mommy and baby Asmik are both doing fine and safely on the ground.

Personally, I would have never chanced it for the very reason that I’m sure Ms. Babayan will never again fly in her last trimester – for the sheer fear of giving birth in the sky. I’m a worrier and I would have taken every possible scenario unto consideration. For instance, aside from giving birth on the plane, what if there were complications? A breach birth? Or what if a caesarean section birth was needed? Worse still, what if the baby would have needed immediate medical attention? What then? There was a laundry list of things that could have gone wrong. Luckily, they did not.

Did you fly during your last trimester?

Image via Flickr: Kuster & Wildhaber Photography


What do you think?

It’s a Good Day to Give Birth – On a Plane?

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

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  1. Theresa says:

    I flew to see family at 27 weeks and back home at 28. My doc said she didn’t want me flying in the 3rd trimester at all and I personally didn’t want to either. That’s when you feel tired all the time anyways…so even a two hour flight would’ve seemed like forever! Congrats to this woman on her healthy baby and I’m sure many thanks go to the flight attendant for being level-headed during the situation.

  2. Morgan Hart says:

    I’m not sure how long it takes to fly from SIberia to Armenia, but I would guess this woman may have been in labor when she boarded…making me question why she so desperately felt she needed to be on that flight. Without knowing her reasons for flying, it’s hard to judge whether she made a poor choice or not. Personally, I would not fly anywhere near my last trimester, and did not fly during my last pregnancy even though several members of my family travelled from Indiana to Florida to visit with my grandfather who was dying. I had a complete previa during my pregnancy though, and travel could have been life-threatening for myself and the baby…my grandpa would’ve kicked my butt if we made the trip! To the person who says Amercans have too many fears and childbirth is natural -I agree much of the time. However, you never know what complications may arise, which is why I’ll stck close to my doctors-who know me and my istory-any time I’m pregnant, regardless of the delivery I have planned. My cousin often tells me that "women have been having babies for thousands of years" as logic for not being concerned with delivery complications or problems that may arise. My reply is that women have also been dying during childbirth for thousands of years.

  3. Theresa says:

    Nope ! I’m only 3 months saying to family & friends when I’m further along, I want to be as close to the hospital as possible !

  4. neisha says:

    I wouldn’t risk having birth on an airplane.

  5. Kerry says:

    I flew at 34 weeks and 2 days before my son was born…but then again, I did not have my son in a hospital loaded up on drugs. Labor isn’t 2 hours…which is most domestic flights. For this "worrier" author to write negatively about flying, and play the fear card is just dumb. I am so sick of Americans attitude of "what if". The fear card has so many women getting so out of touch with reality and their bodies it is crazy! Why not write about how awesome a natural birth on the plane was for this woman who was obviously trying to get somewhere better for her baby. What about how courageous she was to do this on her own(no mention of husband)! Jeeze…pregnancy and parturition are awesome! No fear factor here!

  6. BMarie2010 says:

    Haha all those "what if.."s you mentioned would be the same questions that an expectant mother in sibera would ask herself!! If it was me, I’d risk flying back to the states to deliver compared to a siberian hospital/midwife!!

  7. Candice says:

    I flew at 35 weeks 3 days & then came back home at 36 weeks. I got clearance with my doctor (& a written note of approval) and also made sure we had a name & number of a recommended doctor in Dallas (where we were going) our flight was only 1 hour & that was one of the biggest reasons we decided to fly so late in my pregnancy. It seemed like it wasn’t too risky to take such a short flight.

  8. Malinda says:

    Oh goodness no I didn’t fly in my last trimester!! I wouldn’t have been able to fit down the isle let alone fit in the seat. I was HUGE think like 68 inches around and only pregnant with 1 baby and my waist measurement before baby was 29. Flying when your that pregnant sounds really uncomfortable

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