Afghan woman gives birth aboard U.S. evacuation plane

Medical support personnel with an Afghan mother who gave birth aboard her evacuation flight. Credit: U.S. Air Force

U.S. airmen helped an Afghan woman give birth to a baby girl after going into labor during an evacuation flight en route to Germany, U.S. Air Mobility Command said.

The command said in a statement Saturday that the mother went into labor and began experiencing complications due to low blood pressure on board a flight from “an intermediate staging base in the Middle East.” The C-17 aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure, which the command said “helped stabilize and save the mother’s life.”

The plane landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where airmen came aboard and helped deliver the baby in the cargo bay of the plane.

“The baby girl and mother were transported to a nearby medical facility and are in good condition,” a command spokesperson said.

It was not clear when the woman departed Afghanistan.

President Biden said Sunday his administration’s efforts to evacuate thousands of American citizens and Afghan allies from Kabul following the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country was going to be “hard and painful.” The Biden administration is ramping up its frantic evacuation efforts, with the U.S. military sending 20 more planes into Kabul to help fly people out of the country.

Over the weekend, 11,000 people were shuttled out of Kabul, Biden said. Since mid-August, 28,000 have been evacuated from the country, and the president said his administration expects the pace to continue.

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