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British Soldier Gives Birth in Afghanistan

Gunner didn't know she was pregnant
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2012 3:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – War zone medics more accustomed to treating bullet wounds delivered a baby boy at Afghanistan's Camp Bastion after a British soldier came to them complaining of severe stomach pains. The mother, a gunner in the Royal Artillery, had no idea that she was pregnant before the baby arrived, healthy but five weeks premature, the Telegraph reports. A specialist team is on the way from Britain to bring the mother and baby home from the base, which had been attacked just days earlier by Taliban insurgents.

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Unaware she was pregnant, the soldier passed tough pre-deployment training, including an eight-mile run with a 25-pound backpack, before arriving in Afghanistan in March. "It is bizarre that she didn't feel some side effects of the pregnancy," an Army insider tells the Daily Mail. "But the conditions of deployment, the heat of the Afghan summer, the different hours of working, mean that many soldiers feel a little odd and put it down to the change of environment." The British military does not allow pregnant women to deploy and has sent at least 70 pregnant soldiers home from Afghanistan over the last 10 years. (Read more Camp Bastion stories.)

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