Woman gives birth to baby onboard plane at Atlanta airport

ATLANTA — A North Carolina couple’s new bundle of joy knows how to make an entrance.

Becoming a parent can be an exciting and scary time, but for Liliana Castaneda and Edgar Acevedo, that moment was even scarier because Castaneda gave birth to their daughter on a plane.

Baby Analia came more than a month before her due date of December 23 while her parents were traveling home from visiting family in Mexico.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

The couple says they are excited to be new parents, but were terrified when Castaneda started having contractions during the flight.

“He was like, ‘Don’t try to push, because if you push more the baby will come out,’ so I tried to hold those contractions for like three hours and 30 minutes on the way here,” she said.

“I was nervous at the same time and worried for her and the baby,” Acevedo recalled.


Once they were able to land at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta Fire Rescue’s Aviation EMS team was at the gate waiting to help.

“The airplane was coming in exceedingly fast. Faster than normal, so we knew it was an emergency. We knew people were nervous,” said Wanetta Nash, with Atlanta Fire Rescue’s Aviation EMS team.

“As we got onto the plane, we started to realize this is real,” said Marlo Blas, with Atlanta Fire Rescue’s Aviation EMS team.

Castaneda was in excruciating pain and it was too late to get her to a hospital.

“They were like, ‘Are you ready to push?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m ready to push,’ so I just pushed once and the baby girl came out crying,” Castaneda said.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

When flight attendants told the other passengers that mom and baby were alright, it was all smiles.

“Pilots were high fiving, it was a special occasion,” said Nash.

“Us as firefighters, we don’t deal with many happy moments. We deal with a lot of chaos and things like that, so being able to experience a moment with some happiness was gratifying,” said Blas.

Analia is still in the hospital, but doing great. She is expected to be released tomorrow so the family can return home to Raleigh, North Carolina.