Turkish Airlines Crew Helped Deliver Baby Girl at 42,000 Feet

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Source: Turkish Airlines

Babies on board an airplane are not always a welcomed sight, but on April 7 a bundle of joy entered the world aboard Turkish Airlines to cheers and applause. The flight crew of Turkish Airlines TK538 en route from Conakry, Guinea to Istanbul helped deliver baby Kadiju shortly after take-off when her mother unexpectedly went into labor.

There are very strict rules about traveling while pregnant.

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“Passengers who have not yet entered their 28th week of pregnancy are able to travel without a doctor’s note. Passengers expecting 1 child and who are between the start of the 28th and end of the 35th week of pregnancy are able to travel with a doctor’s note containing the statement, ‘There is no particular reason for the patient not to fly.’ Regardless of any doctor’s note, we don’t allow passengers on board who are expecting 1 baby and entering/beyond their 36th week of pregnancy, or passengers expecting more than 1 baby and entering/beyond their 32nd week of pregnancy,” Turkish Airlines states on its website. Nafi Diaby, the French-Guinean woman who gave birth on board, just made the deadline as she was 28 weeks pregnant, according to a press release from Turkish Airlines. Apparently she was hiding it well. The cabin crew were unaware of her condition. So it was business as usual at 42,000 feet for flight attendants Bouthayna Inanir, Azra Yurt, and Demet Hocaoglu checking the aircraft until cabin attendant Inanir saw that Diaby was in “great pain,” according to the Hurriyet Daily News. The baby was not willing to wait another eight weeks. Inanir — who aided Diaby in the delivery — said the woman gave birth while standing. She told the Hurriyet Daily News, “And then the baby was on the seat. This was the hardest part. I had to grab the baby. I took her and give (sic) her to the mother.”

Nafi Diaby & Baby Kadiju
Source: Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines reported the plane landed routinely in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso – the connecting stop to Istanbul – where they were immediately taken to the hospital and said to be in good condition. They took to Twitter to announce the baby news, tweeting, “Welcome on board Princess! Applause goes to our cabin crew!” The heartwarming story went viral as the tweet was shared for than 21,000 times (as of press). Now, the only snafu that remains is what is Kadiju’s nationality. Is she French-Guinean like her mother or could she be classified as having been born in the country whose airspace the plane was flying? According to Canberra Times, “the United Nations considers that the baby should be classified as having been born in the country where the plane was registered, in this case, Turkey.” Whatever is decided, baby Kadiju and her mother have quite a story to share on her birthday.

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