The Marines now have an official manual to help them stay fit during pregnancy and beyond.
On Monday, the Marine Corps released its Pregnancy and Postpartum Physical Training Manual, which contains sample training programs and tips for Marines and their commanders on how to “maintain their fitness.” during pregnancy and help them get back in shape after childbirth. The manual is a complement to a 29-page guide the Corps was released in March.
“The continued success of our combat organization is credited to the incredible talents of the individual Marine,” said the Corps announcement, which credited the service of the Human performance direction with the creation of a “physical training (PT) program to enable a pregnant or postpartum marine to design their own PT regimen during this natural life event”.
The manual, which is publicly available here, asks Marines to check with their doctor about their individual needs, but says aerobic and strength training is safe during pregnancy and can lead to a number of benefits, including promoting healthy weight gain, stress reduction and back pain reduction.
The body updated its 15-year-old regulations on parenting and pregnancy last year, which urged Marines to continue training during pregnancy in light of new research. And in recent days, the service has also extended the exemption from physical training and fitness testing for pregnant Marines from nine months to one year, shortly after Military.com highlighted two Marines who were distinguished for having children.
The Corps is also considering granting a year of maternity leave in an effort to recruit and retain more women, who often leave the service earlier than men to start families. “We should never ask our Marines to choose between being the best possible parent and the best possible Marine,” said General David Berger, the commanding officer.
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Feature Image: USO Special Delivery Baby Shower Guest Makenzie Hanson plays with daughter Juliette Hanson during the USO Special Delivery Baby Shower at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, October 18, 2017 (US Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Gabriela Garcia-Herrera)