By Debbie Gregory.
A sailor who hadn’t previously disclosed her pregnancy gave birth recently aboard an aircraft carrier currently involved in military operations against ISIS, the Navy has confirmed.
The birth took place aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower while it operated in the Persian Gulf, according to the Navy.
According to Cmdr. Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, the sailor was admitted to the ship’s medical department after complaining of abdominal pain. Nine hours later, she gave birth to a 7-pound baby girl.
Mother and baby were both doing well. Luckily, the doctor on-board had experience delivering babies. Necessities such as diapers and formula were flown out to the carrier as soon as it was clear that a baby was on the way, along with an incubator, which was used to support the helicopter medical evacuation to shore.
Urban said the sailor’s chain of command wasn’t aware of the pregnancy. It wasn’t immediately clear Monday whether the sailor herself knew she was pregnant.
“As the baby was born at sea aboard an operational unit, the main focus for the U.S. Navy, the ship and its crew is the safety and well-being of the baby and the mother. The mother and baby have arrived in Bahrain via helicopter with a medical escort and have been taken to a shore-based hospital for follow on care,” Urban said.
The Navy requires annual health examinations and for expectant mothers to self-report pregnancy within two weeks of confirmation from a medical care provider, according to Navy Personnel Command.
Navy policy says that expectant mothers are allowed to remain on a ship up to the 20th week of pregnancy and only if the time for medical evacuation to an emergency treatment facility is less than six hours away, according to Urban. The Eisenhower left Norfolk on June 1.