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.
Lisa Young directed the PPPT training course. Young is a certified health educator with the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. She said that the program is helpful for mothers and mothers-to-be because it provides a supportive environment for them.
"It's a unique program that has the interest and well-being of the Soldier at its center and the Army can benefit from that," said Young. She added that many expectant mothers are able to stay in the Army and are able to get back to the Army standards for physical fitness quicker because of PPPT.
Staff Sgt. Dionna Eves, 4th Infantry Division medical training noncommissioned officer and post coordinator for PPPT, said that there is not an official PPPT program on Fort Carson at this time, although there have been programs in the past. She said there are about 700 enlisted Soldiers that will be able to take part in PPPT when it gets into full swing.
Young said that deployments and other transitions of previously-trained instructors caused the program to be suspended at Fort Carson.
The PPPT program helps Soldiers find balance, build camaraderie and
special bonds with each other, said Eves.
The weeklong class gave the Soldiers the knowledge they need to train other Soldiers and to lead PPPT as well said Young. There will be three, three-day, exercise-leader classes given by the Soldiers that attended this class in order to train other Soldiers.
"It was a really good workout; I didn't think it would be this hard," said Sgt. Kimberly Mendiola, 759th Military Police Battalion.
Mendiola said even women who weren't currently expectant mothers but already had children benefited from the course as well.
The PPPT covers more than physical training, said Young. Once a week there will be an educational class that covers finances, the Army's pregnancy policies and career education, to name a few topics, Young said.
Department of Defense Directive 1308.1 recommends that each base or installation offer a pregnancy physical fitness program to help women maintain a level of physical fitness during their pregnancies. These programs shall provide a physical fitness program to assist postpartum mothers in returning to their previous levels of physical fitness, according to the directive.
According to the USACHPPM, the intent of the Army PPPT program is to implement a mandatory, standardized, Army-wide PPPT program. The policy to make this happen was put in place with the update to AR 40-501, 7-9, 10 and the release of All Army Activities 68 in July 2008.
Eves said the time that it would take to get a Soldier into the program varies due to appointments and other restrictions, but the 4th Infantry Division surgeons' office is trying to cut down on that delay. She said that a temporary profile may be issued, which will allow the Soldier to begin the PPPT sooner.
The PPPT program is slated to begin on Fort Carson Sept. 1, said Eves.
"We're still working on getting all the details ironed out before then," she said.