Were it not for a cleaning lady who chanced upon the newborn waving a feeble arm from a blue trash bag in an airplane bathroom, Grace would have met the fate her mother apparently intended for her, authorities in New Zealand said.
On Wednesday, police in New Zealand charged the 29-year-old woman with abandonment and assault -- for giving birth to the child on an international flight and then leaving her, without alerting anyone, in a toilet bin amid bloodied paper towels.
The woman, whose name was not released, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
The woman is a kiwi fruit picker who was returning from Samoa when she walked off a Pacific Blue flight in Auckland on Thursday, reported the New Zealand Press Association, a cooperative of the country's newspapers.
About 20 minutes later, a cleaning lady discovered the baby in a restroom inside the Boeing 737. Her fellow custodians wrapped the baby in a blanket and handed her to authorities.
Su'a William Sio, a Kiwi lawmaker of Samoan descent, said cultural stigma and the shame of bearing a child out of wedlock were two reasons why a mother might abandon her child.