Afghan woman gives birth to baby girl on packed US evacuation flight

An Afghan woman was helped by the 86th Medical Group after going into labor aboard the aircraft

Afghan woman and child refugees are escorted to a waiting bus after arriving at Dulles International Airport
(Image credit: Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

An Afghan woman has given birth to a baby girl on an evacuation flight alongside hundreds of fellow refugees as they escaped the devastation following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. 

Ever since news of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan broke, the world has been left shocked and heartbroken by the stories of hundreds of Afghan citizens. Many Afghan refugees have been seeking sanctuary elsewhere as they flee the new regime, whilst women at an Afghanistan dog charity are in grave danger as they continue to help rescue staff and residents from a veterinary clinic in Kabul. Meanwhile, others have been discovering how to help Afghanistan and the US has been carrying out evacuation flights, with one such flight seeing new life brought into the world amidst this terrifying situation. 

The US Air Force has taken to social media to reveal that an Afghan woman has safely given birth to a daughter just after they touched down at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.  In a series of moving posts, they revealed that the woman had gone into labor during the flight from an Intermediate Staging Base in the Middle East to the US Air Base in Germany in the second leg of their journey fleeing Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. 

The US Air Mobility Command declared in their poignant caption, ‘During a flight from an Intermediate Staging Base in the Middle East, the mother went into labor and began having complications.’ 

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At this point, it’s thought that the aircraft was at its flying altitude, which, according to CNN, is typically above 28,000 feet due to the lower air pressure in the plane. 

In order to protect the mother, the Air Mobility Command explained that, ‘The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life.’

Following this, the plane continued and landed safely at Ramstein in Germany, where personnel from the Air Force’s 86th Medical Group assisted the Afghan woman with the delivery of her precious baby.

‘Upon landing, Airmen from the 86th MDG came aboard and delivered the child in the cargo bay of the aircraft. The baby girl and mother were transported to a nearby medical facility and are in good condition’, the Air Mobility Command confirmed in a follow-up Tweet.

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They also shared with fellow social media users the heartfelt moment the Medical Group helped the new mother and her little girl off the plane, posting touching photos of their arrival at Ramstein.

‘Medical support personnel from the 86th Medical Group help an Afghan mother and family off a U.S. Air Force C-17, call sign Reach 828, moments after she delivered a child aboard the aircraft upon landing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 21’, they declared. 

Ramstein Air Base is understood to have emerged as one of the key transit points for evacuees from Afghanistan as the US continues to help transport Afghan refugees to safety.

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The news of the little girl's birth comes days after the Air Force recently revealed one of its C-17 Globemaster III flights from Afghanistan had set a record for the number of people ever carried aboard this aircraft. In a Tweet by Air Mobility Command on August 20, they stated in a correction that the US Air Force had safely transported 823 Afghan citizens on August 15, after the initial count of 640 did not include the 183 children who were also aboard the aircraft. 

The woman and her newborn daughter will now be amongst those hundreds of other families who will be looking to forge new lives away from Taliban-governed Afghanistan.  

If you wish to help people in Afghanistan, then reputable organizations providing direct aid include Turquoise Mountain TrustUrgent Crisis Relief for Afghanistan 2021and Support to Families Displaced by Taliban Violence

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!