The Struggle of a Full-term Pregnancy Woman IDP in Shan State


“I have never thought that I would have to flee and deliver my baby at a stranger house. I did not have enough clothing to wrap my baby after the delivery,” Nang Kham Mawn narrated her story to S

Nang Kham Mawn is a resident of Nam Oat village, Hum Ngai tract, Mong Kung township, Southern Shan State.

IDPs at Mong Kung 1
IDPs at Mong Kung 1

Because of the fight between the two Shan armed groups in early October 2021, she had to be displaced with her mature pregnancy.

With her pregnancy at fourth trimester stage, Nang Kham had to carry her belonging and walk in the jungle for 6 days trying to seek for safety. She had to sleep in a small tent when it is getting dark.

“When my pregnancy due date was getting closer, I was very worried. I had to run while listening to the sound of guns fire. When it is getting dark, I shared the tent with others to rest,” Nang Kham Mawn told her experience of running away from the conflict.

When they fled from their village, the routes were tough that neither cars nor motorcycles could be used. They had to walk for 6 days until they reach another village where it was safe for them. Nang Kham Mawn delivered her baby at a stranger house at that village. Without doctors and nurses, she faced many difficulties; the most concern one was the health of her new born baby.

The very next day, Nang Kham Mawn and other IDPs had to move to another location, a monastery in the Hum Ngai tract where IDPs seek for safety.

IDPs at Mong Kung
IDPs at Mong Kung

However, when they reached the IDP camp at the monastery, “When we arrived at that monastery, we had to build our own tent. When it was raining, the tent was not good enough to cover the rain but I managed to stay inside. I did not dare to go outside because I just had a delivery and it was not good to get wet,” Nang Kham Mawn explained her difficulties to SHAN.

About 700 people were displaced at that monastery, and they used whatever they have to build their shelters.

“I was very moody sometimes since I just delivered my baby. However, as we all were on the same boat, I had to endure and try to stay along well with others. When I was stressed, my heart would beat faster and I would get sweat all over,” Nang Kham Mawn added to her story.

Nang Kham Mawn also added that even though she was staying in her own tent, she was worried about the pandemic because of the crowd.

However, those who were helping the IDPs urged the people there to wear a mask, to frequently wash their hands, and to keep the distance from one another.

At that monastery, there were many young mothers like Nang Kham and they were in need of better shelter and nutrient powder or bars. As of October 2021, there were 40 children who are under three years old, and 85 who are under 6 years old according to a committee member who was helping the IDPs.

“Young mothers were in need of a better shelters. Some of them could not eat as usual yet, they only ate some selective food,” the above committee member added.

Nang Kham Mawn did not dare to eat everything as she was concerned that it might affect her baby, “ I only ate rice with salt. I was afraid it would affect my baby health,” quoted by Nang Kham Mawn.

Because of the intense fight between the two Shan armed groups in some areas in Shan State, about 10,000 people had been internally displaced, leaving their properties and farms, in 2021 alone.

According to the statement released by Shan Women Action Network (SWAN) on 25 November 2021, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, pregnant women IDPs were facing difficulties to deliver their babies, and at the same time young mothers were in need of shelter, food and nutrients.

It was a threat to the security and safety of the children and women during these armed conflicts in Shan State and national political chaos.

Additionally the land mines set up by those ethnic armed groups were the risk to those women and children, they could lose their lives and families.

“It was very risky for the mothers who have to deliver their child in the forest. The armed conflicts forced thousands of people to flee their homes, and women and children were facing security, health, and death risk while fleeing,” a staff from SWAN made a remark about the situation.

“Due to the intense armed conflicts, I had gone through a lot of troubles. I had to walk in the jungle with mature pregnancy, and I had to deliver my child at a stranger house which was one of the most challenging things for me. Please have mercy on pregnant women and mothers like me, and quickly stop the conflicts in Shan State,” Nang Kham Mawn made her request to the armed groups through SHAN.

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