Baby on board! Teenage girl gives birth on plane at 38,000 feet

It's the kind of thing that usually only happens in movies, but on Saturday a plane-full of long-haul passengers experienced some in-flight entertainment with a difference – when a teenage girl gave birth to a baby boy!

The drama happened at 38,000 feet on the flight from South Africa to New York. Fatawmatt Kaba, 17, was on board a South African Airways flight from Johannesburg bound for JFK when she went into labour four hours after take off.

Luckily for Fatawmatt, who is originally from Angola, there were two doctors and a nurse on board to help deliver the child.

When the young woman went into labour, the crew asked over the loudspeaker if a doctor was on board.

Fortunately a pediatric anesthesiologist Dr Julie Williamson was present along with Dr Steve Paridon.

Dr Williamson said: "While there was a lot of discussion whether to divert the flight, she made the decision for us by saying, 'Push!' And when we checked, the baby was crowning, and she delivered him in two pushes."

Passengers were amazed that the young girl barely uttered a sound during the quick delivery.

"You could see his little umbilical cord still attached," said passenger Jamahl Winters, 32.

"It's amazing. I didn't think stuff like that really happened in real life. I thought it was something that happened in TV and movies."

The teenager's newborn son, whom she named Mamel Joella, was immediately wrapped in blankets and rocked by airline crew as they walked up and down the aisles.

Mother and baby were taken to Jamaica Medical Center in Queens to be checked over after their arrival in the United States. They are both said to be in a healthy condition.

Fatawmatt had been traveling to visit family in the US. Her son will not be an American citizen because the flight was not in US airspace when the 17-year-old gave birth.