Baby Born on Flight Named After Airline
Tami Fabiola was born Sunday, February 14th onboard a Transportes Aereos Militares (TAM) flight. The military carrier is part of the Bolivian air force, Fuerza Aérea Boliviana (FAB).
Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Holters, a spokesman for the military and airline, told the Latin American Herald Tribune, "The girl will receive free tickets to travel around the country until she is 21-perhaps that will be extended a little bit more, that will be evaluated. And she will receive a scholarship to study at the Educational Unit of the FAB."
Holters also said the girl was born two weeks short of full term. TAM officials did not detect the pregnancy prior to boarding because the mother was wearing a "bulky sweater." Most airlines do not allow women to fly during the third trimester of pregnancy.
The plane was en route from Cochabamba to La Paz, Bolivia when the mother's labor pains made her cry out. A doctor and nurse who were traveling on the plane rushed over to aid in the delivery, which happened in the aisle of the plane. The plane-just minutes from touching down when the mother went into labor-was given priority to land at El Alto International Airport, where an ambulance was waiting.
According to The Tribune, the mother said she was "so desperate and nervous about her situation that she didn't recall feeling any pain during the birth itself."
Tami Fabiola and her mother were reported to be in good condition at a local hospital on Tuesday.
This is not the first time a baby was born up in the air. As recently as this past December, a Southwest Airlines crew helped bring a baby into the world on a flight between Chicago and Salt Lake City. The flight crew nicknamed the baby "Peanut."
Additionally, last October a Malaysian woman went into labor onboard budget carrier AirAsia. With the help of a doctor who was onboard the flight and the flight attendants, the woman delivered her baby boy while the aircraft was still about 2,000 feet in the air. The mother, Liew Siaw Hsia, 31, was 11 weeks short of full term. To celebrate the healthy mid-air arrival, she and the newborn were granted free flights for life by the airline.
Air travel for pregnant women is generally safe as long as the flight is not too close to the due date. Some airlines require a doctor's note stating the expectant mother is fit for air travel, so those who are pregnant should check in with their airlines rules before purchasing tickets. Additionally, many airlines advise against flying during the first trimester due to morning sickness and an increased risk of miscarriage.