Soldier gives birth in Camp Bastion
20 September 2012
A female British soldier has given birth to a healthy child in Camp Bastion in Afghanistan's Helmand province, it has been confirmed.
The woman, reportedly a Fijian gunner who first deployed to Afghanistan with 12th Mechanised Brigade in March, was said to have been unaware she was pregnant, having successfully completed pre-deployment training challenges including an 8-mile march and a 5-mile run.
She reportedly complained of stomach pains before being told by medics she was in labour and later giving birth in Camp Bastion's field hospital.
Despite being around five weeks premature, the baby, a boy, is said to be in a stable condition. A paediatric team from Oxford's John Radcliffe hospital is flying out to assist mother and child on their return home, according to a report in The Daily Mail.
A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman confirmed the 18 September birth.
"Mother and baby are both in a stable condition in the hospital and are receiving the best possible care," the spokeswoman said. "A specialist Paediatric Retrieval Team is being prepared and will deploy in the next few days in order to provide appropriate care for mother and baby on the flight home."
"It is not military policy to allow service women to deploy on operations if they are pregnant," she added. "In this instance the MOD was unaware of her pregnancy.
"As with all medical cases, when the need arises, individuals are returned to the UK for appropriate treatment and care."