Nurse Baby helps deliver baby on plane during ‘eventful flight’

Ms Baby, a senior oncology specialist nurse at the University Hospitals Sussex Foundation Trust who was travelling on a long-haul flight from the UK to Cochin in southern India.

Another passenger on the Air India flight, Simi Philip, was seven months pregnant and going into labour, so the pilot called on the intercom to ask if there was a nurse or doctor on the plane.

Leela Baby

Ms Baby, volunteered her help, and along with two doctors who were also on the flight, she safely delivered baby Shawn to Ms Philip, within two hours of her labour beginning.

The flight then had to be diverted to make an emergency landing in Frankfurt, Germany, to allow Ms Philip and Shawn to be taken to hospital as a precaution.

Leela, who was presented with an award for her work, said: “I was travelling with my husband, Joseph, from Heathrow to Cochin, when all of a sudden there was an announcement asking for any experienced doctors or nurses on board who can help with an emergency labour.

“It’s a long time since I delivered a baby so I waited at first but when a second announcement went out I came forward and volunteered.

“They asked me if I had experience working in labour and I said I have experience of working in labour when I first started working as a nurse in India, and although I’m working as a chemotherapy nurse now, I am confident I can help.

“They told me there was a woman - Simi - who's 29 weeks pregnant and in emergency labour.

“I then went ahead and asked Simi how she was doing and how the pain was. She said she was in a lot of pain and that she was having contractions. Soon after this, her waters broke so we took her to a bed by the cabin crew area.

“We examined her and the baby's head was crowning. Then we delivered the baby safely. Both mother and baby were safe. Whilst the doctors looked after the baby, I carefully took out the placenta.

“The flight then landed in Frankfurt, Germany and both mother and baby were taken to the University hospital.”

Sources :,

When the plane did finally land in India, word got around about the midwife in the sky, and the Rotary Club of Cochin presented Leela with an award for excellence.

Leela added: “I am in touch with Simi and she and the baby are doing fine now. I am just glad I, and others, was able to help.

“It was nice, and much unexpected, to be given the award. It was certainly an eventful flight!”


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