“No one wants to be pregnant in the shelters… That’s universal wherever we go,” said Laila Baker, UNFPA representative in Syria. “There is no place to take care of the baby and it’s another mouth to feed.”
In addition, they fear the delivery process will face complications, as access to antenatal care and safe delivery services, including emergency obstetrics, is now extremely limited in the country.
Yet, UNFPA estimates that some 250,000 women in Syria and in refugee settings will become pregnant by the end of 2013.
Before the conflict, 96 percent of deliveries in Syria (whether at home or at the hospital) were assisted by a skilled birth attendant, but previously strong registration systems have since broken down.
In one hospital in Homs, 75 percent of all babies are delivered using the surgical procedure. Women often have to walk or take the bus home within hours of the operation, because of general insecurity and fear of not being able to get home. Their husbands usually do not accompany them for fear of arrest while in hospital.
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