British soldier gives birth at Afghanistan's Camp Bastion
Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 09:21
A BRITISH soldier serving on the frontline in Afghanistan has given birth at the NATO base where she is posted — days after it came under attack from the Taliban, the defence ministry said Wednesday.
The woman, who gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday at Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province, did not know she was pregnant, British media reports said.
Two US Marines were killed and unprecedented material damage caused when attackers armed with guns, rockets and suicide vests stormed the base — where Britain's Prince Harry is also located — last Friday.
The mother and baby, both said to be in a stable condition, are waiting for the arrival of a specialist medical team from a hospital in Oxford, southeast England, before being flown home.
A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: "We can confirm that on Sept 18 a UK servicewoman serving in Afghanistan gave birth in the Camp Bastion Field Hospital to a baby boy.
"Mother and baby are both in a stable condition in the hospital and are receiving the best possible care.
"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."
He said the MoD was unaware of the woman's pregnancy, adding: "It is not military policy to allow service women to deploy on operations if they are pregnant."
According to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper the woman, reported to be from Fiji, only discovered she was pregnant when she went to medics complaining of severe stomach pains and was told she was about to give birth. The baby was born five weeks premature, the newspaper said.