Fort Lauderdale

Woman Gives Birth On Plane After Departing Fort Lauderdale

"A baby being born during a flight is very rare," said Paul Berry, a spokesman for Spirit

The phrase "baby on board" took on a whole new meaning when an Arizona woman gave birth on a Spirit Airlines flight on Saturday.

Cristina Penton, who was 36 weeks pregnant during the flight, gave birth to a healthy baby boy while the plane was still in the air. Thirty minutes after the aircraft left Fort Lauderdale International Airport, Penton said she wasn’t feeling well, according to a statement.

"I didn't think I was having the baby because it was too soon, but after a few minutes I knew I needed medical attention,” said Penton.

The plane was bound for Texas, but was diverted to New Orleans Louis Armstrong Airport so that medical emergency crews could deliver the baby. However, no such crews were needed.

"The flight attendants contacted doctors on the ground and they advised the flight attendants to see if there were any medical personnel on board," said Penton.

"As it turned out there was a pediatrician and a nurse. Soon after that, it was clear I was having my baby, and I was in pure panic."

Baby Cristoph was born just a few moments later, weighing at 7 pounds and measuring 19.5 inches. After the birth, they were taken to Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, Louisiana.

"A baby being born during a flight is very rare," said Paul Berry, a spokesman for Spirit. "But our flight attendants are trained to handle medical emergencies in flight and they have access to doctors on the ground via inflight communication."

Penton said she was comfortable flying even at 36 weeks because her other two children were born full term. Her husband, who drove to meet her in New Orleans, later said "I told you so," after warning her not to take the trip.

Watch footage of the moment below:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Us