Birth under Bombs – 9 Months of Hell in Gaza

ByCARE Australia July 10, 2024 0 comments

9 months on from escalation of violence in Gaza, pregnant women 3 x more likely to miscarry(1) and 3 x more likely to die in childbirth(2)

In the 9 months, or 40 weeks, that the violence in Gaza has now raged on, women there have conceived, miscarried, and birthed their babies. Instead of spending 9 months safely and hopefully preparing for the birth of their baby, these women have spent the entirety of their pregnancy in constant fear.

22-year-old Diana discovered she was pregnant shortly after violence escalated last October and gave birth to her son, Yaman, under intense bombing and gunfire late last week.

“I had a difficult labour. I was so frightened as the bombing was intense and didn’t stop even for a minute. My mother was so afraid for me and the baby – she prayed and prayed that we’d still be alive by dawn. I gave birth to my son, Yaman at about 2am. There was no special care for the baby when he was born, and he was not fully examined. He has jaundice now which has affected his brain.”

Diana is not alone. Over 50,000 women are currently pregnant in Gaza. Around 180 are due to give birth today, but not all of them will make it that far. Pregnant women in Gaza have experienced so much trauma since October that they are three times more likely to miscarry than they were before.

For those who defy the odds and manage to carry their pregnancy to full-term, the likelihood is they will be forced to give birth in a tent, a temporary shelter, or even in the streets amid rubble.

They will do this without painkillers, while bombs continue to drop around them, knowing that they are now three times more likely to die giving birth.

Helen McEachern, CEO of CARE International UK said:

“It’s abhorrent that women, and their experiences in this conflict, have largely been forgotten. The UK Government has to step up and put them front and centre. We need a gendered response to this conflict, one that prioritises the needs and experiences of women, and funds the women leading their communities through crisis. We urgently need the new Government to use its diplomatic powers and bring an end to a conflict that is destroying lives, many that have only just begun.” 

CARE International’s Palestinian partner in Gaza, Juzoor, has set up clinics offering ante- and post-natal care, and mobilised volunteers from its network of midwives to assist vulnerable women to deliver births safely in their shelters with specialised equipment. CARE has also distributed 5,500 Baby Kits 3 , containing essential products such as baby clothes and sterilising wipes for pregnant mothers, many of whom have lost everything.

(1) UN Experts 
(2) Crisis in Gaza: Scenario-based Heath Impact Projections 


For media enquiries contact Briony FitzGerald on 0404 117 927

About CARE Australia 

CARE Australia supports women around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We work in partnership with local communities to provide equal opportunities for women that they have long been denied: the ability to earn an income, gain access to their fair share of resources, to lead and participate in decisions that affect their lives, and to be able to withstand the increasing impacts of climate disasters and other crises.

About CARE International

CARE International is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty, operating in over 100
countries. CARE International UK is a member of the global CARE International confederation.
Founded in 1945, we work around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We seek a world of hope, inclusion and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and all people live with dignity and security. We place special focus on women and girls, because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. To learn more, visit

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