The maternity military: How nearly 100 female soldiers have been sent home from the Afghan frontline after getting pregnant

  • Between January 2006 and December 2013 99 servicewomen sent home

  • Military rules ban mothers-to-be from serving in a war zone

  • 16 women were removed from Afghanistan in 2013 due to pregnancy

  • In September 2012 Lynette Pearce gave birth at Camp Bastion

According to figures released by the Ministry Of Defence, 16 women were removed from Afghanistan in 2013 due to pregnancy, while 18 were sent home in 2011.

The women were flown back on flights usually reserved for injured troops, meaning the true figure could be higher if other female soldiers came home via routine flights, according to The Sun

Troops are repeatedly reminded by senior officers to check they are not pregnant before they fly to the front line, however, servicewomen are not forced to take a urine test before deploying because top brass consider it would be an ‘invasion of privacy’.

In September 2012 it was revealed that Lance Bombardier Lynette Pearce, then 28, gave birth to a son at the field hospital in Camp Bastion, four days after the base was attacked by the Taliban.

The Fijian-born junior non-commissioned officer in the Royal Artillery had a healthy boy five weeks prematurely, not knowing she was pregnant. 

She shocked military chiefs when she became the first UK soldier to have a baby on the battlefield, naming the child Immanuel Izadore Pearce.

Speaking after the birth, Lance Bombardier Pearce’s mother Sugar said her daughter met the baby’s father in the UK after joining the Army.

And in February 2011 it was revealed how how Private Kayla Donnelly, then 21, served on the front line in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province while seven months pregnant. She had conceived before going to the war zone.

Pte Donnelly, from Penrith, Cumbria, who serves with 12 Logistic Support Regiment, put the changes to her body and weight gain down to high-calorie army rations and the stress of war. She only realised she was expecting two weeks after she returned home and gave birth to son Josh.

Full article: The maternity military: How nearly 100 female soldiers have been sent home from the Afghan frontline after getting pregnant (Daily Mail)

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