06 June 2009

It's an order: American soliders must shed their baby weight

Women might as well just give up on life now.

Just when you thought standards of beauty for post-baby mums couldn't possible get more unachievable, it seems that new mothers in the U.S. military are subject to pressures that most of us can avoid because our jobs don't demand it.

Enlisted US soldiers have six months postpartum to meet Army weight standards and pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). Otherwise, they can be flagged and ultimately lose their jobs. Until recently, women started physical training with their regular units six weeks after delivery, outnumbered by fit and unsympathetic men and commanders with no experience in training soldiers who are also new mothers. "They look down on you, no matter how good a soldier you were before," said Warrant Officer Jacey Martin, a new mother and soldier at Fort Bragg.

According to the Defense Women's Health Research Program, more than half of new mums fail their fitness tests and about one-third don't meet the weight and body fat standards within six months. Apparently, there are some postpartum PT (physical training) programmes, however, many PT instructors have not been trained in techniques for working with new mums.

Um, not so much.

1 comment:

Meggles said...

When I was stationed in Germany, one of my friends had a baby. The day she got back to work her boss was bugging her about taking a pt test. She had her baby six weeks before. She took her pt test at 5 months postpartum so he would stop harassing her. Oh...and this was a hospital unit, so pregnancy was around us all the time! Yeah. The army does treat new moms pretty badly.

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