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Afghanistan Baby 'Doing Fine' After Birth at Military Base

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By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
September 20, 2012|10:31 am

A woman who was unaware that she was pregnant has given birth while serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

According to the service member, whose identity has not been released, the baby was conceived before she was deployed for her six-month stint in March.

The British Ministry of Defense (MOD) stated that the "mother and baby are both in a stable condition," according to a statement released by the MOD, adding that the birth occurred on Tuesday in Camp Bastion, which is located in the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.

A representative for the MOD explained that a special "pediatric Retrieval Team" had been dispatched to the base in order to provide care for both mother and child during the long flight back to the U.K.

"It is not military policy to allow servicewomen to deploy on operations if they are pregnant. In this instance, the MOD was unaware of her pregnancy," the MOD said in a statement.

While births are rare during combat situations military personnel are trained to adapt and act effectively in any situation that could arise.

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"This is a unique occurrence, but my team is well-rehearsed in the unexpected and they adapted brilliantly to this situation," said Lieutenant Colonel Andrea Lewis, commanding officer of the field hospital for Camp Bastion, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

This was reported as the first time a British soldier had given birth during a combat operation, even though since 2003 around 200 servicewomen have previously been sent home from tours of duty after their pregnancies were reported, according to BBC correspondent Caroline Wyatt.

"Military rules ban pregnant servicewomen from front-line duties, though last year another female British soldier gave birth two weeks after returning from her six-month deployment to Afghanistan," she said.

While the military gives every service member a through physical examination, it is not common practice to have women complete a pregnancy test before they are deployed.

 

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