When a woman is pregnant, she would usually avoid traveling far from home in the last few weeks of her pregnancy, but earlier on, it is generally safe for a pregnant woman to travel. Typically, it is safe for a pregnant woman to fly up until she is 36 weeks pregnant; however, some international flights might prohibit pregnant women from traveling once they are 28 weeks pregnant. In any case, it is best for a pregnant woman to check with her doctor before deciding to fly.

At just 29-weeks pregnant, Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga, boarded a Delta flight to Honolulu, Hawaii. The Utah resident was headed there for a vacation. She never ever thought she would go into labor so early.

During the flight, a Hawaii Pacific Health Family Medicine physician named Dr. Dale Glenn heard an urgent call for medical help. At this point, the flight was halfway to Hawaii.

Glenn immediately went to see what was going on and how he could help. He was surprised to see Mounga holding a premature baby in her hands. Amazingly enough, three neonatal intensive care nurses from North Kansas City Hospital were also on board the plan. The nurse and doctor helped Mounga care for her baby during the remainder of the flight.

The doctor and nurses had to get creative and use what they had since there wasn’t any medical equipment on the plane that was designed for a premature baby. For example, they used shoelaces to cut and tie the umbilical cord. They also used an Apple Watch to check the baby’s heart rate.

Watch the video below to see this tiny baby for yourself and to hear Glenn’s reaction to the emergency medical call.


The new mom described the experience as “overwhelming,” but she is also extremely thankful that there were NICU nurses and a doctor on board the plane. Mom and baby were taken to the hospital after the plane landed in Honolulu. Mom has been discharged, but her baby is still in the NICU.