What Happens If You Give Birth On A Plane
Giving birth on a plane is horrifying for every mother but here’s an upside to the situation
19 September 2018
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to be house-bound, pregnant mothers are still active and at times choose to travel for whatever reason that may be.
But they don’t choose to do so without having a second thought of “what if?” – what would happen if I suddenly gave birth on the plane and what happens to my baby afterwards.
This question has probably popped into the minds of thousands of pregnant women flying on a plane every single day and while some are lucky and get to their destination still pregnant – others have to endure giving birth mid-flight.
Apart from any complications that might occur (because an airplane is not a hospital), it is still relatively safe – crew members often search for specialized doctors amongst the passengers or resort to using their own training.
Every crew member on board of an aircraft must undergo special training for different situations that might occur while thousands of feet up in the sky – one of which is an emergency birthing situation.
But most airlines set limits to how many weeks a pregnant woman can travel with – usually set between 24 to 28 weeks to avoid any surprises while flying. And even when that, pilots always try to find ways for an emergency landing, if possible.
So the likelihood of this happening is very low – but when it does, it might not be all bad and here’s what you need to know.
What is the citizenship of a baby born on a plane?
Usually when a baby is born on an airplane, the baby’s nationality is given according to the parents – the certificate usually follows the mother. And usually, if the baby is born above an Arab country, the baby’s certificate will follow the father’s nationality.
With exception to the rule, it can sometimes differ depending on the airspace the mother is flying in. Meaning that if you give birth over a specific country or airspace, your child has a possibility of obtaining that citizenship.
While the UK airspace does not follow this rule, a baby born in U.S. airspace or waters is automatically a U.S citizen.
Do you get free flights if you give birth on a plane?
But an upside to the horrific situation might, surprisingly, be hidden in the terms and conditions of the airline ticket.
Some airlines state that if a baby is born on any of their flights, that baby will receive free flights for life or up to a certain age.
So it’s really up to you to determine if giving birth on a plane is actually worth the citizenship and free flights for your baby – but remember, your only on-board birthing option is probably a natural one!