Flight attendants take action as woman gives birth on Turkish Airlines 11-hour flight to Chicago

Flight attendants on a Turkish Airlines flight took action to help a very pregnant woman give birth to a healthy baby boy on an 11-hour flight from Istanbul to Chicago on Monday.

Dr Feridun Kubilay, 60, a US permanent resident who was visiting Turkey where he works part-time in neurosurgery was just in the flight after delaying his return to the United States by a month.

Although he had not given birth for over 40 years, Dr Kubilay was more than happy to help the crew when he sought help from a doctor on board.

“If I haven’t changed my ticket, I don’t know what’s happening to this lady,” Kubilay said. “Someone or something [larger] arranged for me to be on that plane, ”said Dr Kubilay NOLA.com.

Kubilay says he was initially confused when cabin crew said the woman had gone into labor and asked how they could have left a heavily pregnant woman on board.

He started evaluating her for abdominal pain, but her husband confirmed that she was nine months pregnant. It turns out that a long dress helped hide the fact that she was in the late stages of her pregnancy and only two weeks away from her due date.

The captain suggested that they might be able to divert the plane to Copenhagen as they flew over Denmark, but by this point the woman’s waters had already broken and she was at an advanced stage of childbirth.

Kubilay and a team of cabin crew helped successfully deliver the baby boy who has since been named Mehdi, and the flight continued to Chicago without the need for a diversion.

This does not necessarily mean that Mehdi obtains US citizenship. There are a number of factors that go into deciding which nationality to grant to a baby born on an international flight. The mother is from Morocco, as the plane flew over Denmark when she gave birth.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says occasional airplane travel during pregnancy is generally safe, but most airlines restrict air travel in the later stages of pregnancy.

Turkish Airlines says pregnant passengers should have a doctor’s note allowing them to fly between weeks 28 and 35 of pregnancy. After week 35, Turkish Airlines no longer allows pregnant women to travel.

During the Kabul evacuation mission, Turkish Airlines cabin crew assisted an Afghan evacuee to give birth at 33,000 feet on a flight to London. With no doctors or other medical professionals on board the flight, it was up to the cabin crew alone to help deliver a successful birth.

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Mateusz Maszczynski


Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the Middle East’s largest airline and flew throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centered stories. Always listening to the field, Matt’s news, analysis and media coverage are frequently used by some of the biggest names in journalism.



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