A baby in regional NSW was so impatient to be born that she entered the world while her mother was being flown to hospital to deliver her.
The NSW Ambulance fixed-wing aircraft was called to a property in Bourke, about 120km north-west of Dubbo, after Jade Smith went into labour on Tuesday afternoon.
Ms Smith, who was giving birth for a second time, was being transferred to Dubbo Hospital as there are no maternity services in her town of Bourke, far north west NSW.
Flight nurse and midwife Lynnette Heagney was on board to help transport the expectant mum, but baby Ameiliah had other plans.
Just 24 minutes into the flight, Ms Smith began involuntary pushing. Ms Heagney had to rely on her years of experience as a midwife to support the 25-year-old woman.
The “beautiful, healthy baby girl” was born 15 minutes later, at 5.19pm.
Baby Ameiliah was safely delivered on board the aircraft, before the newborn and her mum were transferred to Dubbo Hospital.
With the plane about 20 minutes away from the hospital, it was too late to turn back.
“I told Jade ‘Your baby’s ready to come. It’s going to come whether you like it or not’... and she was good about it,” Ms Heagney told Yahoo News.
While she has been a midwife for 23 years, this was the first time the critical care nurse had delivered in a plane.
Ms Heagney had the baby’s heart rate had been going up before she was born, so a contingency care plan was ready for anything that could possibly have gone wrong, but it was not needed. The birth went “really well” without any complications, she said.
Ambulance NSW commended Ms Heagney and pilot Ben Hinton for assisting the safe and unexpected delivery.
“This is a rare event for a Flight Nurse as we operate independently with a pilot so an in-flight delivery is not ideal due to a lack of support,” an Ambulance NSW spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
Both mother and baby are doing well, Ambulance NSW confirmed.
The mid-air flight has raised questions as to the place of birth to include on Ameiliah’s birth certificate.
“The aircraft was at 4500 metres over Warren travelling at 336 mph with Longitude 147.93 – Latitude – 31.71 SE 136,” NSW Ambulance confirmed.
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