Birth on board: Hero doctor helps deliver premature baby mid-flight

·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·3-min read
Inshad Ibrahim outside Wrexham Maelor Hospital.   ‘Is there a doctor on board’ heard Inshad Ibrahim, from Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s Emergency Department, before he found himself helping a woman, only seven-months pregnant, give birth on a plane thousands of feet in the sky. See SWNS story SWMDbirth.  Inshad, who lives in Wrexham, was travelling to Kochi, South India, with his wife and two children. After two hours on the flight Inshad heard the crew ask if there was a doctor on board who could help them. Inshad volunteered and was taken to a woman who was just seven months pregnant, who seemed in pain from the turbulence they were experiencing on the plane. Inshad said: “Other medical staff on the plane also volunteered to help, and when we examined the woman, we saw her waters had broken, and we told the crew that this was an emergency and we needed space.   “The cabin crew turned an area which they normally prepare the food in into a delivery room for us with pillows and clothes. When we examined her, half the head of the baby was already out. The baby was very small but she wasn’t making a sound, so I tapped his back and after about 15-20 seconds he opened his eyes and cried. The was a very long 15-20 seconds.”   The baby was named Shawn Michael and weighed 2.4lbs. The other passengers gave their clothes to keep the baby warm, as well as consoled the new father of Shawn, and helped Inshad’s wife care for their two children.  (SWNS)
Inshad Ibrahim works at Wrexham Maelor Hospital's Emergency Department, Wales (SWNS)

A heroic doctor was there to save the day when a seven months pregnant mum-to-be went into labour mid-flight.

The man of the hour, Inshad Ibrahim, was flying from London Heathrow to Kochi in India in October 2021 for a family holiday when a flight attendant asked all passengers,"Is there a doctor on board?"

The pregnant woman, Maria Philip, had gone into labour prematurely, two hours into the flight, after experiencing pains shortly after take off.

Inshad, who works at Wrexham Maelor Hospital's Emergency Department, jumped up to help and discovered Maria's waters had broken, realising he was about to help deliver a baby.

He has now explained what happened for the first time since the event.

Inshad Ibrahim with baby Shawn.   ‘Is there a doctor on board’ heard Inshad Ibrahim, from Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s Emergency Department, before he found himself helping a woman, only seven-months pregnant, give birth on a plane thousands of feet in the sky. See SWNS story SWMDbirth.  Inshad, who lives in Wrexham, was travelling to Kochi, South India, with his wife and two children. After two hours on the flight Inshad heard the crew ask if there was a doctor on board who could help them. Inshad volunteered and was taken to a woman who was just seven months pregnant, who seemed in pain from the turbulence they were experiencing on the plane. Inshad said: “Other medical staff on the plane also volunteered to help, and when we examined the woman, we saw her waters had broken, and we told the crew that this was an emergency and we needed space.   “The cabin crew turned an area which they normally prepare the food in into a delivery room for us with pillows and clothes. When we examined her, half the head of the baby was already out. The baby was very small but she wasn’t making a sound, so I tapped his back and after about 15-20 seconds he opened his eyes and cried. The was a very long 15-20 seconds.”   The baby was named Shawn Michael and weighed 2.4lbs. The other passengers gave their clothes to keep the baby warm, as well as consoled the new father of Shawn, and helped Inshad’s wife care for their two children. (SWNS)
Baby Shawn Michael was delivered on board the flight, weighing just 2.4lbs (SWNS)

The aircraft's staff also assisted by turning the area of the plane usually reserved for food preparation, into an improvised delivery suite, made comfortable with pillows and clothes, he recalls.

With the support of other medical professionals on board, they worked as a team to safely deliver baby Shawn Michael into the world (or into the sky), weighing just 2.4lbs.

"When we examined her, half the head of the baby was already out," said Inshad.

"The baby was very small but he wasn't making a sound, so I tapped his back and after about 15-20 seconds he opened his eyes and cried.

"That was a very long 15-20 seconds. The baby seemed ok, good blood flow and suckling reflex, but we still had seven hours to go before reaching our destination."

Passengers stepped into help too, donating their clothes to help keep the newborn warm while the plane re-diverted, making an emergency landing in Frankfurt. The mother and baby were rushed to the hospital for checks, who have both now recently returned home after a month stay in Germany.

Read more: Zara Tindall's baby was almost Born Before Arrival (BBA) - what does that mean and how common is it?

Watch: Teenage mum gives birth to tot believed to be UK's smallest premature baby

"It was an amazing experience, a celebratory moment for all the passengers, everyone was so happy and excited," said Inshad.

"We all consoled and helped her husband too, and passengers helped my wife with out two children during the flight too. We became close family."

Inshad, who lives in Wrexham, in north Wales, had been travelling with his own family, his wife and young children, aged just three and six-months old.

A spokesperson for Air India said at the time: "Kudos to our crew and special salute to doctors and medical staff on board for making this easy for the mother.

"Our aircraft is well equipped with all necessary medical equipment and our crew are experienced to handle this kind of eventuality.

"Our officials are in constant touch with the family and all necessary support is being provided. Soon they will be flying home with us.

"May god bless the baby with a healthy and long life."

Read more: Premature baby believed to be UK's smallest in 20 years born weighing 11oz

Watch: A premature baby weighed less than 1lb and was so fragile he was kept safe in BUBBLE wrap

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting