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Military Looking Out for Pregnant Soldiers

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At Fort Bragg, pregnant soldiers don't have to run, but the do exercise in other ways.
FORT BRAGG — Women in the military have to meet the sameexpectations as men with very few exceptions, but only women get pregnant.Now, Fort Bragg has a found a way to deal with expectant soldiers.

Everyone who enters the military takes on the uniform, the weapons, andthe responsibility. They also take on a rigorous daily physical regimen,including a daily run, but when a female soldier becomes pregnant, runningis often out of the question.

So, rather than excuse pregnant women from exercise altogether, FortBragg officials came up with an alternative -- swimming.

Sgt. Jeri Herring of the 59th Aviation Brigade says she likes beingable to stay in shape.

it was three years ago that Fort Bragg started up the pregnant soldierwellness program. It's a way for future military moms to continue ahealthy exercise routine.

All the instructors are certified in fitness and nursing, which makesthe classes a big hit. Currently, Fort Bragg has more than 200 womenenrolled in the program. PV2 Frances Rainey of the 50th Signal Battalionsays she likes doing something other than walking.

PFC Keisha Brock of the 51st Signal Battalion says the exercise reallyhelped her with her last pregnancy.

Officials say it's because of these classes that future moms areconvinced they're not only healthier, but their babies are benefiting too.

The wellness program includes health education classes to teach pregnantsoldiers everything, from what to expect in labor, to how to breast-feedtheir babies. There are post-pregnancy classes too.

Photographer:Mike Joyner