FORT CARSON, Colo. – Soldiers that are pregnant and those that have just given birth have a physical training program that’s tailored just for them that takes place every week on Fort Carson.
The Fort Carson Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Program aims to help female soldiers get back into the fight as strong as they were before giving birth, said a lead instructor of the program.
The P3T program follows guidance from the Postpartum American College Of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which recommends consistent moderate exercise to maintain fitness during pregnancy, and helps improve the postpartum period.
“The program is broken into three different phases,” said Sgt. 1st Class Monias Allen, program coordinator, P3T, 4th Infantry Division.
“During the first trimester we teach them all of the exercises that they will be doing,” Allen said. “In the second trimester it starts to get a little more intense, and in the third, it starts to slow down because the baby could come at any time.”
Six weeks after the baby is born, the postpartum early phase starts, she added.
“It reintroduces them to doing the exercises required of them, while they are in the Army.”
After three months, the last phase - postpartum late - begins.
“This is where they start to get back into the full swing of things, and begin taking diagnostic Army Physical Fitness Tests. It is the goal of the program for them to be able to pass the APFT and be fully mission-ready within a 180-day period after giving birth.”
One soldier currently in the final phase feels the program more than met her expectations.
“The program has helped me to maintain my military appearance,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christina Leomiti, finance management technician, 230th Finance Company, 43rd Special Troops Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade.
“These instructors have been to school, and are here to help and assist us to get back to where we were before being pregnant,” Leomiti said. “After having a child, you only have 180 days to be able to meet the standards again, and by participating in the program, from the beginning of a pregnancy through the end, it has helped tremendously.”
On Thursdays, no matter what phase the programs’ participants are in, they receive various classes to help them be more prepared for what they will now face.
Cpl. Darwiniqua Hopkins, a human resource specialist, now in her second trimester, said those classes have been a sigh of relief.
Hopkins, with the Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, said she has been dealing with children all of her life, but since this is the first of her own, has had many worries.
“One of the many benefits of the program is the camaraderie it builds with the others around you,” Hopkins laughed. “You might think something is wrong, and when you ask the others, and they say it is happening to them as well … it eases those fears.”
Leomiti said that every unit and pregnant soldier should be aware of and utilize the program.
“This is a great program, and for those pregnant soldiers or units who do not use it, should; if you don’t then you are failing your soldiers,” said Leomiti.