Active Duty Information – U.S. Army
With this pregnancy, you will be facing extraordinary changes in your life. Unlike your civilian counterparts, you also have to manage the impact that your pregnancy and military life will have on each other. The following information is provided to help you, the active duty expectant mother / Soldier, make key decisions and chart the best course for your pregnancy.
You will be provided two sets of maternity uniforms (BDUs or Whites). At most posts, you will need to take a memorandum from your commander requesting the issue and a copy of your pregnancy profile showing your due date to the Central Issue Facility (CIF) or the unit supply room. These uniforms will be turned in upon your return from convalescent leave. Check with your chain of command to inquire about specifics.
You are encouraged to participate in childbirth education programs offered at your facility. Childbirth education may include birthing classes, infant care information, breast-feeding education, exercise during pregnancy, and tours of the birthing unit and postpartum areas. Visit your local Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) and see what they have to offer.
Upon confirmation of your pregnancy (by confirmation or a lab test), you will be provided a physical profile that is effective for the duration of the pregnancy. Activities that are acceptable during pregnancy are specifically noted in the profile and include: specific stretching, aerobic conditioning at own pace, lifting up to 15 pounds, wearing a helmet, and carrying a rifle.
Although you are exempt from regular physical training (PT) and testing during your pregnancy, you are encouraged to participate in a pregnancy PT program, if available. Currently there is no standardized Army-wide PT program for pregnant and postpartum Soldiers. However, many installations do have programs available. Obtain your health care provider's approval for any proposed exercise.
In addition to the physical profile, there are additional limitations regarding pregnant Soldiers outlined in the Office of the Surgeon General Memorandum, dated 23 May 2001, Pregnancy and Postpartum Physical Profiles:
- Except under unusual circumstances, the Soldier will not be reassigned to or from CONUS during pregnancy. She may be reassigned within CONUS. A physician must clear the Soldier prior to any reassignment.
- An occupational history will be taken at the first visit to assess potential exposures in the Soldier's work area. An occupational medicine physician or nurse usually performs this task. Listed below are specific occupational concerns / limitations:
- No duty where nausea, easy fatigue, or sudden light-headedness would be hazardous to the Soldier or others, to include aviation duty, Classes 1/!a/2/3, and work on ladders or scaffolding. The Soldier may be granted permission to remain on flight status with approval by physician and Advanced Training Course supervisor.
- No duty with frequent or routine exposures to military fuels, (mogas, JP8, JP4) fuel vapors and / or handling.
- No indoor weapons training due to airborne lead concentrations and bore gas emissions.
- No work in motor pool areas where the Soldier would be routinely exposed to potential hazards. This does not apply to pregnant Soldiers who perform infrequent preventative maintenance checks and services (PMCS) on vehicles or to those pregnant Soldiers who work in adequately ventilated areas adjacent to the motor pool (i.e., administrative offices)
- Avoid excessive vibrations, example: Driving in large (greater than 1 1/4 ton) ground vehicles on unpaved surfaces.
- Exempt from all immunizations except influenza and tetanus-diphtheria.
- Exempt from exposure to chemical and riot control agents, wearing load-bearing equipment to include web belt, and wearing MOPP gear at any time.
- Can work shifts and perform to continue military duty until delivery. Soldiers with complicated [pregnancies may have their duty modified their health care provider.
- At 20 weeks pf pregnancy:
- Exempt from parade rest or standing at attention for longer than 15 minutes.
- Exempt from swimming qualifications, drown proofing, field duty, and weapons training.
- Exempt from riding in or driving in vehicles larger than light medium tactical vehicles.
- Exempt from all PMCS duties.
- At 28 weeks of pregnancy, in addition to the above:
- 15 minute rest period allowed every two hours.
- Duty day not to exceed 8 hours. Workweek not to exceed 40 hours.
- Duty day begins with reporting for formation or duty and ends 8 hours later.
Will be determined by attending physician following delivery. The usual time allotted is 42 days following a normal pregnancy an delivery. The physician also determines the amount of convalescent leave following other than normal pregnancy and delivery (i.e., elective or spontaneous abortions, complications)
Prior to leaving the hospital, your doctor will provide you with a postpartum profile. This temporary profile will be for 45 days beginning the day of delivery and allows for PT at your own pace. Participation in a postpartum PT program is encouraged to assist you in returning to required physical fitness standards and transitioning back to unit PT.
Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT):
You are exempt from the APFT during pregnancy and for 180 days following delivery. At the end of the 180 days, you will take a record APFT. Your unit may have you take diagnostic APFTs in preparation for the record test.
Family Care Plan:
Talk to your unit chain-of-command to insure that you have a family care plan in place taking the new addition to your family into consideration.
Soon after discharge from the hospital, you must stop by your personnel office or the nearest DEERS office to enroll your baby in DEERS. While at the Military Personnel Office (MILPO), take time to update your SGLI (Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance) and DD93 (Emergency Data Sheet)
After enrolling in DEERS, you will be given the necessary forms for your baby's enrollment into TRICARE. Complete these forms and take to your nearest TRICARE office.
Notify the Personnel Administration Center (PAC) of your new dependent.
Both Parents Active Duty:
Both parents will need to update their SGLI and DD93. Only the sponsor needs to enroll the baby in DEERS, TRICARE, and notify PAC of new family member.
1- Office of the Surgeon General Memorandum, dated 23 May 2001, Pregnancy and Postpartum Physical Profiles.
Comment: Click on last link for current pregnancy profile information
Site provides a succinct summary of the information contained in the specific references listed below:
- AR 40-501 Standards of Medical Fitness, Pregnancy and Postpartum Profiles.
- AR 614-30 Assignments, Details, and Transfers, Overseas Service in Pregnancy.
- AR 600-8-10 Leaves and Passes, Postpartum Convalescent Leave.
Comment: Navigate through Official Documents, Army Administrative Publications.
Site Details considerations in pregnancy.
DOD Directive 1308.1 DoD Physical Fitness and Body Fat Program
Comment: Outlines postpartum exception to standard of fitness / body fat
Extracted from Pregnancy and Childbirth, A goal oriented guide to prenatal care. Version 2.1, February 2004. VA/DOD uncomplicated pregnancy clinical practice guideline - December 2002