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Fitness with a growing belly Sgt. Memory Payne

Staff Sgt. Masasinge Hadley, a Micronesia native, now a medic with 508th Military Police Battalion, trains to become an exercise leader for the Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Program. Hadley is doing dance aerobics while wearing a 35-pound empathy belly.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Staying fit with a growing belly challenges pregnant women. The Pregnancy-Postpartum Physical Training Program, known as P3T, helps U.S. Army soldiers stay in shape while pregnant and return to fighting form afterward.

Every day, approximately 120 soldiers participate in P3T at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Participants are usually enrolled for a mandatory 15 months, including 180 days after pregnancy. Like every other physical readiness training session, a P3T session requires a leader.

Before instructing a session, P3T leaders are required to attend a 3-day course. Non-commissioned officers earn their certification by learning proper stretching and exercise techniques designed for pregnant and postpartum soldiers. They must also pass written and practical exams. Once certified, the P3T leaders conduct training for 30 days.

During the course, leaders participated in dance aerobics, water aerobics and stretching exercises. They also took turns wearing a 35-pound “empathy belly” to simulate weight during a pregnancy.

“The empathy belly was heavy,” said Staff Sgt. Masasinge Hadley, a Micronesia native, now a medic with 508th Military Police Battalion. “I have found a new respect for pregnant women. It really limits you.”

Some participants were surprised by the level of intensity during P3T and the motivation of pregnant soldiers.

“I’m psyched to do this. It is more than I expected,” said Sgt. Gary Rice, a Las Vegas native, now the battalion schools non-commissioned officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment.

Every Friday, soldiers’ supervisors are welcome and encouraged to join the P3T session, said Sgt. Patricia Richardson, a Manning, S.C. native, now the non-commissioned officer in charge of P3T at Joint Base Lewis McChord.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Fitness with a growing belly, by SGT Memory Payne, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:10.03.2012

Date Posted:10.03.2012 14:24

Location:JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, USGlobe

Hometown:LAS VEGAS, NV, US

Hometown:MANNING, SC, US

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  • Many pregnant soldiers fear that exercising could cause injury during pregnancy and injury to their unborn child. The Pregnancy Post Partum Physical Training program helps alleviate those fears and helps the soon-to-be mom with a physical training program that will be beneficial to them and their baby.
  • In a room surrounded by mirrors at the back of a gym, soldiers sat on exercise equipment, in a semi-circle formation, while learning how to coach physical training to pregnant and postpartum women in the Army.
  • Twenty-three Fort Carson Soldiers along with Soldiers from Beaumont Army Medical Center, Texas; Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington; and Fort Eustis, Va. completed training July 24 at Fort Carson to administer the Army Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training.

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