Heroic Female Soldiers Help Afghan Woman Have Amazing Homebirth

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female marine For anyone who continues to doubt the role of women in the military (and I know such people still do exist), this story proves otherwise -- and then some. From start to finish, no male solider could have done what female marines Sgt. LaJuanna Baker and Cpl. Andrea Moreira-Rios did when a midwife in Afghanistan approached them and asked for their help delivering a local baby. Even if those theoretical male marines were trained obstetricians.

Why? Because the midwife and other local women surrounding the laboring mother would never have spoken directly to male soldiers to begin with, and certainly never would have allowed male soldiers to deliver a child. That's why for so long, it was as if the women and children's health care messages sent to countries like Afghanistan failed to be heard.

Hopefully that will all start changing now, thanks to Female Engagement Teams run by women like Sgt. Baker and Cpl. Rios.

The FET's mission that day, apparently, was to hand out "hygiene packets" at a local healh clinic and teach women how to use the items included. That's what Baker and Rios were doing when the midwife approached them, begging for aid.

Refusing to let the language barrier stand in their way, Baker and Rios pitched right in, holding the woman's legs and cheering her on. When the baby was born, they checked to see that he was breathing normally and made sure the new mom was well-hydrated with clean drinking water.

But as amazing as the experience of helping to bring one individual life into the world may have been, Baker, for her part, is even more excited about the ripple effect of her actions.

"It helped spread the word to the local women that females from other countries are here and want to help them," she said.

Do you think more female soldiers could help to improve foreign relations?


Image via DVIDSHUB/Flickr

labor & delivery

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Susan M. Gargiulo Schulz

No, I dont believe woman have any business over there or anywhere in the military1 I am sorry but they expect special privledges, special treatment, special duties, special food, special medical, showers, bathrooms, trainging is different, exercise is different. ect. I believe If you want to play with the boys then act like the boys, sleep where the boys sleep, get dirty and stay dirty like the men do get the same treatment as the men. Do not get pregnant just so you dont have to go into combat because your other children will miss you. they miss there dads, why not there moms too? I am not being ugly judgemental, or disrespectful!I am just sick and tired of listening to W.M's crying about having to do this that or the other when they are on their period or they are pregnant, or they just had a baby. well buck up ladies. you had the child now defend that child's right to be free and go fight the war you joined the service to do. oohh rah devil dogs

navyma23 navyma23

I think its awesome. And I know many women in the military and they are great people and don't expected to be treated any different. All of them also have children too. They don't expect to be treated differently, deploy when needed and do their jobs. Saying otherwise is stupid in my opinion. I think its great these women where there when they were needed. 

ArmyW... ArmyWife8297

wow, i love this story and annoyed by the first comment some one pissed in her cheerios this morning, i support men and woman in combat boots, its hard for anyone to leave a child and woman have to be stronger to leave there babies and some never have to think about doing so until they get those orders and becomes real.....i am so proud that our woman serve...and so happy to hear in this story she helped being a baby into a world, this story only brings hope to this ugly war and this baby will have a great story when this is all over.....GREAT JOB, HOOAH!

RLG3 RLG3


Susan, I am sorry you feel that way considering there are alot of women out there making huge sacrifices for you and your country. I served proudly along with many other hardworking, self-sacrificing men and women. We ALL contributed significantly to our mission regardless of our sex.  Let me tell you, men can gripe and complain just as well as the women can and I certainly don't think that having separate shower and sleeping quarters qualifies as a big luxury. I certainly have never heard of 'special food' based on sex either. Obviously there are some different medical needs... but men have their gender specific medical needs too. 


No one in this article was complaining about life in the service - they are making huge and valuable contributions home and abroad and SHAME ON YOU for using this as a forum to disparrage them and others who volunteer their service to this country. Thank you to ALL the men and WOMEN who have put their skills and expertise to use for this country. Susan M. Garigulo Schulz may look down HER nose at you and lack appreciation for your contributions - but many, myself included hold you in the highest esteem.


Tamara Mae Lynch

Haha wow, as a female soldier currently deployed to Iraq I can tell that Susan (1) has probably never been deployed or even been in the military and (2) is probably married to some shitbag soldier who always complains about female soldiers when he himself can't even uphold the Army standards. In my unit, female soldiers do the same training and same jobs as the male soldiers. We're in Iraq! No time for periods or whatever special treatment you think we get. Get your facts straight. Oh wait, never mind, I temporarily forgot that you can't argue with ignorance. I'm done wasting my time trying.

Linda Lee Difulvio

SHAME ON YOU SUSAN.... If it wasn't for our Men and Women in the military you couldn't voice your stupid comment because you wouldn't be FREE TO. My daughter is in Afghanistan and I know she is working hard. She is a beautiful girl and didn't have to join the Army but she felt that she had to give back to her country. We both feel that every young person should give of themselves for one year to the United States of America. If not in the military, there are state parks, inner city youth clubs, churches, etc. most youth graduating from high school really don't know what they want to do, so why not give back to their country or community...Thank you for listening to my comment......

nonmember avatar Betty

Oh Susan what an asshole you are and as someone else said you proably do have a shitbag husband that is lazy and does not like any woman telling him what to do.
My daughter has been in 10 years and she has deployed 3 times on her 3rd time now. She works just like the other guys over there abd they do hold her in respect as she does the male solider now buck up witch and say I am sorry. Woman like you make me sick if you where standing here i would puck on you

jingl... jinglebells8677

Wow susan i cant believe you would get on here and speak such awful things about our women who are serving. I worked for a dual military family, the mother went over seas and never once complained about it, her husband was the one who wanted her to stay at home and not to have to go.I will agree that there are some women out there who get preganant so they dont have deploy and there are women out there who complain about deploying but there are men out there who complain to and not every women is getting pregnant so she doesnt have to go. You need to think before you speak and say all women in the military are the same and before you go bashing other ppl.

Billie Jo Evans

Susan M. Gargiulo Schulz- Women deserve special treatment for the simple fact that women have different needs than men. Do I want my husband going to the bathroom, changing his clothes, or god-forbid taking a shower in front of a woman? Do I really want my husband to sleep next to another woman? HELL NO! Get a clue, get a life, and stop being so damn ignorant.


I do personally know a woman who got pregnant twice in order to avoice deployment twice, there are people like that, but that doesn't mean that's how every woman is. Thank goodness she got out, but the point is, SHUT UP!

Savannah Dockery

Susan what you said is completely ignorant of the way the military works today. I am in the military, I don't have any kids and I don't get treated any better than "the guys". I have been in the Middle East for the past 19 months working security and I had to stand post the same amount of hours as all "the boys.". If anything it's harder for females in the military because we have to work twice as hard to prove our worth because of narrow minded people like you. I am stationed here with several mothers who have seen their children once a year for the past 3 or 4 years. Does females getting pregnant to get out of deployment happen? Yes, of course it does but there are just as many males who fake injuries, get in legal trouble, etc to get out of deployment. So after you have completed a 4 year tour as active duty military, THEN you can complain about females getting "special treatment" because I will guarantee you have changed your tune. 

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