Ukraine's Wartime Moms, Part 3: Being a Pregnant Refugee During War

Pregnant refugees are at the risk of facing complications like reduced foetal growth and stillbirth.

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2 min read
Edited By :Saundarya Talwar

Video Producers: Priyali Sur & Aparna Singh

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

Ivanna was seven months pregnant when Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. To save her baby, she decided to leave her motherland, where she wanted to give birth and raise her child, and relocated to the neighbouring country. Four days later, she was on a bus to Poland.

We talked to Petro, Ivanna's husband, and Ivanna, who were visiting a hospital in Krakow for the latter's medical check up.

Petro told me that it was very difficult for Ivanna to cross the border on the bus. "It took two days," he said.

Pregnant women refugees are at the risk of complications like reduced foetal growth, stillbirth, maternal depression, and maternal and perinatal morbidities.

We faced a language barrier, so we communicated with Ivanna with the help of a translators. Ivanna said, "I was on the road for two days on the bus and it was difficult. The bus was completely full. There were no toilets and being pregnant was made it extremely hard."

When asked if she ever thought she would give birth away from home, and she said that if she had a choice, she would give birth in Ukraine. Ivanna said that a lot of Ukrainians are now thinking of staying in Poland and other European countries.


"I want to be a Ukrainian and want my baby to be a Ukrainian as well," Ivanna told The Quint.

On 27 May 2022, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy in a hospital in Krakow, Poland.

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