Local News

Military Looking Out for Pregnant Soldiers

Posted November 21, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Women in the military have to meet the same expectations 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, and the responsibility. They also take on a rigorous daily physical regimen, including a daily run, but when a female soldier becomes pregnant, running is often out of the question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photographer:Mike Joyner