A Russian woman gave birth to a girl in midflight on board a Moscow-bound Aeroflot aircraft from Ukraine, Russia’s largest airline reported.
Muscovite Anastasia Kozlova, about 30 weeks pregnant, went into premature labor about 25 minutes after takeoff from Ukraine’s Simferopol on Monday. The pilot requested an emergency landing in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov.
A passenger, Sofia Biryukova, 23, a nurse by education, safely delivered the baby as Kozlova was placed in the back of the plane. Flight attendant Marina Serebryakova helped her.
“I never delivered a baby before but suddenly the understanding came what to do,” Biryukova, who works as a baby masseuse, said.
Anastasia asked Sofia who was born. “I answered that it was a girl,” Sofia said, adding that the mother named the girl Varvara.
However, the girl, who was 29-year-old Anastasia’s third child, was unable to breathe, and Sofia had to use her knowledge.
“I knew that is such cases, obstetricians pump liquid from the infant’s mouth and nose by a special device in order to clear the airways. As there were no devices, I had to suck out the mucus using my mouth,” the nurse said.
A passenger, Vladimir Zakhvatov, said that the newborn was still not breathing, and Sofia had to massage the girl’s chest.
“Then the girl started moving, took a deep breath and gave out a weak cry,” he said.
“The pilot landed the heavy liner as if it was a feather. There was an impression that an angel stood behind his back,” Zakhvatov also said.
The mother and the newborn were taken to a local hospital. Doctors said the nurse’s actions saved the newborn, adding that both felt “satisfactory.”
“Thank God I was on board that plane and was able to help the baby and the mom. The girl is alive, which is the best thing that can ever be,” Sofia said.