A British servicewoman has given birth to a baby boy in Afghanistan having not realised she was pregnant.
"Mother and baby are both in a stable condition," said the Ministry of Defence, following the birth on Tuesday in Camp Bastion, Helmand province.
The woman, a Royal Artillery gunner who has not been named by the MoD, only learned she was about to give birth after complaining of stomach pains.
The child was conceived before she arrived in Afghanistan in March.
In a statement, the MoD said: "It is not military policy to allow servicewomen to deploy on operations if they are pregnant. In this instance the MoD was unaware of her pregnancy."
A specialist paediatric team from Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital is to fly to Afghanistan in the next few days, the statement added, "in order to provide appropriate care for mother and baby on the flight home".
The baby was born five weeks prematurely.
BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said it is the first time a British soldier has given birth on the front line.
She said: "Though up to 200 servicewomen have been sent home since 2003 from Iraq and Afghanistan when it was discovered they were pregnant.
"Military rules ban pregnant servicewomen from front-line duties, though last year another female British soldier gave birth two weeks after returning from her six-month deployment to Afghanistan.
"This unusual case may well fuel further debate over whether more medical checks are needed before the armed forces deploy women to the front lines."
So-called denied, or undetected, pregnancies are rare but in some cases women do not show a bump and continue to have periods for the duration of the pregnancy.
Research in Germany in 2002 found 25 out of 475 mothers did not realise they were pregnant until they went into labour.
At that time Mary Newburn, from the National Childbirth Trust, told the BBC News website some people simply refused to admit to themselves they were pregnant.
She said some younger women were not aware of the significance of the changes occurring to their bodies.
Ms Newburn said: "Most of us put on two or three stone (28-42lbs) while we are pregnant and by the end of pregnancy feel very much as though it is dominating our entire being, so it is difficult to imagine how anybody could get to the later stages of pregnancy and not realise it.
"But pregnancies do vary enormously, and particularly for bigger women the amount of weight they put on is less proportionately."