What are the duty limitations for a pregnant Soldier? | AskTOP.net - Leader Development for Army Professionals
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What are the duty limitations for a pregnant Soldier?

Got a Soldier who is going to have a baby. I am new to working with women. All I hear is what she can't do. Surely there are some rules on this right? Help!

I am not a doctor and each case is special but the Army has laid out some basic guidelines that can be found in AR 40-501. Review these guidelines and discuss them with the Soldier. Her doctor may have additional input.  When in doubt err on the side of caution and follow up with medical authority.

Here is the extract: Paragraph 7-9c

(1) Except under unusual circumstances, the Soldier should not be reassigned to overseas commands until pregnancy is terminated. (See AR 614–30 for waiver provisions and for criteria curtailing OCONUS tours.) She may be assigned within CONUS. Medical clearance must be obtained prior to any reassignment.
(2) The Soldier will not receive an assignment to duties where nausea, easy fatigue, or sudden lightheadedness would be hazardous to the Soldier, or others, to include all aviation duty, Classes 1/2/3. (However, there are specific provisions in para 4–13c that allow the aircrew member to request and be granted permission to remain on flight status.  ATC personnel may continue ATC duties with approval of the flight surgeon, obstetrician, and ATC supervisor.)
(3) Restrict exposures to military fuels. Pregnant Soldiers must be restricted from assignments involving frequent or  routine exposures to fuel vapors or skin exposure to spilled fuel such as fuel handling or otherwise filling military vehicles with fuels such as mogas, JP8, and JP4.

(4) No weapons training in indoor firing ranges due to airborne lead concentrations and bore gas emissions. Firing of weapons is permitted at outdoor sites. (See (11) below, for other weapons training restrictions.) No exposure to  organic solvent vapors above permissible levels. (For example, work in ARMS room is permitted if solvents are restricted to 1999 MIL–PRF–680, degreasing solvent.)

(5) No work in the motor pool involving painting, welding, soldering, grinding, and sanding on metal, parts washing, or other duties where the Soldier is routinely exposed to carbon monoxide, diesel exhaust, hazardous chemicals, paints, organic solvent vapors, or metal dusts and fumes (for example, motor vehicle mechanics). It does not apply to pregnant Soldiers who perform preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS) on military vehicles using impermeable gloves and coveralls, nor does it apply to Soldiers who do work in areas adjacent to the motor pool bay (for example, administrative offices) if the work site is adequately ventilated and industrial hygiene sampling hows carbon monoxide, benzene, organic solvent vapors, metal dusts and fumes do not pose a hazard to pregnant Soldiers. (See (11), below, for PMCS restrictions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.)

(6) The Soldier must avoid excessive vibrations. Excessive vibrations occur in larger ground vehicles (greater than 1 1/4 ton) when the vehicle is driven on unpaved surfaces.

(7) Upon the diagnosis of pregnancy, the Soldier is exempt from regular unit physical fitness training and APFT testing/weight standards for the duration of the pregnancy and 180 days past pregnancy termination. After receiving medical clearance from their health care provider to participate in physical training, commanders will enroll Soldiers who are pregnant or postpartum to take part in the Army Pregnancy/Postpartum Physical Training (PPPT) program, an element of the Army Physical Fitness Training Program, in accordance with AR 350–1, Army Training and Education. The PPPT Program is designed to maintain health and fitness levels of pregnant Soldiers, and successfully integrate postpartum Soldiers back into unit physical fitness training programs with emphasis on achieving the APFT standards in accordance with guidance provided in the Army Physical Fitness Training Program, and meeting height/weight standards in accordance with guidance provided in the Army Weight Control Program. Pregnant and postpartum
Soldiers must be cleared by their health care provider prior to participating in physical fitness training. Once pregnancy has been confirmed, the Soldier is exempt from wearing load bearing equipment (LBE) to include the web belt, individual body armor (IBA) and/or any other additional equipment. Wearing of individual body armor and/or any other additional equipment is not recommended and must be avoided after 14 weeks gestation.

(8) The Soldier is exempt from all immunizations except influenza and tetanus-diphtheria and from exposure to all fetotoxic chemicals noted on the occupational history form. The Soldier is exempt from exposure to chemical warfare
and riot control agents (for example, nuclear, biological, and chemical training) and wearing MOPP gear at any time.

(9) The Soldier may work shifts.

(10) The Soldier must not climb or work on ladders or scaffolding.

(11) At 20 weeks of pregnancy, the Soldier is exempt from standing at parade rest or attention for longer than 15 minutes. The Soldier is exempt from participating in swimming qualifications, drown proofing, field duty, and weapons training. The Soldier must not ride in, perform PMCS on, or drive in vehicles larger than light medium tactical vehicles due to concerns regarding balance and possible hazards from falls.

(12) At 28 weeks of pregnancy, the Soldier must be provided a 15-minute rest period every 2 hours. Her workweek should not exceed 40 hours and the Soldier must not work more than 8 hours in any 1 day. The 8-hour work day does include one hour for physical training (PT) and the hours worked after reporting to work or work call formation, but does not include the PT hygiene time and travel time to and from PT.

e. Performance of duty. A woman who is experiencing a normal pregnancy may continue to perform military duty until delivery. Only those women experiencing unusual and complicated problems (for example, pregnancy-induced hypertension) will be excused from all duty, in which case they may be hospitalized or placed sick in quarters. Medical personnel will assist unit commanders in determining duties.

posted on 01/31/2011 under Q&A
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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training..

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    Comments

  • Angela

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    Can your unit send you to a month JRTC? Knowing that there will be training events dealing with chemical exposer and no JSlisting is provided to the pregnant soldier?

    • Mark Gerecht

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      Angela,
      I see no reason they could not send you as long they comply with the limits of your profile and the restrictions listed in AR 40-501. Now if there are special circumstances related to your pregnancy or if it is categorized as a high risk pregnancy then your doctor can advised the commander of special limitation through a profile.

      Hope this helps!
      TOP

  • Ashely

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    Is it normal not to be pregnancy counseled at24 weeks or have to go to the feild at 26 weeks? (In army national guard)

    • Mark Gerecht

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      First Congratulations on your Pregnancy.

      With regard to counseling I would believe you should have been counseled by now but I have not found anything in the regulation that states when the counseling should be conducted.

      With regard to field duty the specifics of AR 40-501 apply. Specifically that after 20 weeks the following applies: At 20 weeks of pregnancy, the Soldier is exempt from standing at parade rest or attention for longer than 15 minutes. The Soldier is exempt from participating in swimming qualifications, drown proofing, field duty, and weapons training. The Soldier must not ride in, perform PMCS on, or drive in vehicles larger than light medium tactical vehicles due to concerns regarding balance and possible hazards from falls.

      You should review paragraph 7-9 of AR 40-501 which includes details of the do/don’t of pregnancy. Here is an extract of that regulation.

      7–9. Profiling pregnant Soldiers

      a. Intent. The intent of these provisions is to protect the fetus while ensuring productive use of the Soldier. Common sense, good judgement, and cooperation must prevail between policy, Soldier, and Soldier’s commander to ensure a viable program. This profile has been revised from the previous profile published in the 1995 edition of this regulation. This profile guidance has been revised and includes mandating an occupational health interview to assess risks to the Soldier and fetus and adding additional restrictions to reduce exposure to solvents, lead, and fuels that may be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.

      b. Responsibilities.

      (1) Soldier. The Soldier will seek medical confirmation of pregnancy and will comply with the instructions of medical personnel and the individual’s unit commander.

      (2) Medical personnel. A privileged provider (physician, nurse midwife/practitioner or physician assistant) will confirm pregnancy and once confirmed will initiate prenatal care of the Soldier and issue a physical profile. Nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are authorized to issue routine or standard pregnancy profiles for the duration of the pregnancy. An occupational history will be taken at the first visit to assess potential exposures related to the Soldier’s specific MOS. This history is ideally taken by the occupational medicine physician or nurse. However, if this is not feasible, the profiling officer must complete the occupational history. After review of the occupational history, the profiling officer (physician, nurse midwife/practitioner, or physician assistant), in conjunction with the occupational health clinic as needed, will determine whether any additional occupational exposures, other than those indicated in the paragraphs below, should be avoided for the remainder of the pregnancy. Examples include but are not limited to hazardous chemicals, ionizing radiation, and excessive vibration. If the occupational history or industrial hygiene sampling data indicate significant exposure to physical, chemical, or biological hazards, then the profile will be revised to restrict exposure from these workplace hazards.

      (3) Unit commander. The commander will counsel all female Soldiers as required by AR 600–8–24 or AR 635–200.

      The unit commander will consult with medical personnel as required. This includes establishing liaison with the occupational health clinic and requesting site visits by the occupational health personnel if necessary to assess any work place hazards.

      c. Physical profiles.

      (1) Profiles will be issued for the duration of the pregnancy. The MTF will ensure that the unit commander is provided a copy of the profile, and advise the unit commander as required. Upon termination of pregnancy, a new profile will be issued reflecting revised profile information. Physical profiles will be issued as follows:

      (2) Under factor “P” of the physical profile, indicate “T–3.”

      (3) List diagnosis as “pregnancy, estimated delivery date.”

      d. Limitations. Unless superceded by an occupational health assessment, the standard pregnancy profile, DA Form 3349, will indicate the following limitations:

      (1) Except under unusual circumstances, the Soldier should not be reassigned to overseas commands until pregnancy is terminated. (See AR 614–30 for waiver provisions and for criteria curtailing OCONUS tours.) She may be assigned within CONUS. Medical clearance must be obtained prior to any reassignment.

      (2) The Soldier will not receive an assignment to duties where nausea, easy fatigue, or sudden lightheadedness would be hazardous to the Soldier, or others, to include all aviation duty, Classes 1/2/3. (However, there are specific provisions in para 4–13c that allow the aircrew member to request and be granted permission to remain on flight status. ATC personnel may continue ATC duties with approval of the flight surgeon, obstetrician, and ATC supervisor.)

      (3) Restrict exposures to military fuels. Pregnant Soldiers must be restricted from assignments involving frequent or routine exposures to fuel vapors or skin exposure to spilled fuel such as fuel handling or otherwise filling military vehicles with fuels such as mogas, JP8, and JP4.

      (4) No weapons training in indoor firing ranges due to airborne lead concentrations and bore gas emissions. Firing of weapons is permitted at outdoor sites. (See (11) below, for other weapons training restrictions.) No exposure to organic solvent vapors above permissible levels. (For example, work in ARMS room is permitted if solvents are restricted to 1999 MIL–PRF–680, degreasing solvent.)

      (5) No work in the motor pool involving painting, welding, soldering, grinding, and sanding on metal, parts washing, or other duties where the Soldier is routinely exposed to carbon monoxide, diesel exhaust, hazardous chemicals, paints, organic solvent vapors, or metal dusts and fumes (for example, motor vehicle mechanics). It does not apply to pregnant Soldiers who perform preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS) on military vehicles using impermeable gloves and coveralls, nor does it apply to Soldiers who do work in areas adjacent to the motor pool bay (for example, administrative offices) if the work site is adequately ventilated and industrial hygiene sampling shows carbon monoxide, benzene, organic solvent vapors, metal dusts and fumes do not pose a hazard to pregnant Soldiers. (See (11), below, for PMCS restrictions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.)

      (6) The Soldier must avoid excessive vibrations. Excessive vibrations occur in larger ground vehicles (greater than 1 1/4 ton) when the vehicle is driven on unpaved surfaces.

      (7) Upon the diagnosis of pregnancy, the Soldier is exempt from regular unit physical fitness training and APFT testing/weight standards for the duration of the pregnancy and 180 days past pregnancy termination. After receiving medical clearance from their health care provider to participate in physical training, commanders will enroll Soldiers who are pregnant or postpartum to take part in the Army Pregnancy/Postpartum Physical Training (PPPT) program, an element of the Army Physical Fitness Training Program, in accordance with AR 350–1, Army Training and Education. The PPPT Program is designed to maintain health and fitness levels of pregnant Soldiers, and successfully integrate postpartum Soldiers back into unit physical fitness training programs with emphasis on achieving the APFT standards in accordance with guidance provided in the Army Physical Fitness Training Program, and meeting height/weight standards in accordance with guidance provided in the Army Weight Control Program. Pregnant and postpartum Soldiers must be cleared by their health care provider prior to participating in physical fitness training. Once pregnancy has been confirmed, the Soldier is exempt from wearing load bearing equipment (LBE) to include the web belt, individual body armor (IBA) and/or any other additional equipment. Wearing of individual body armor and/or any other additional equipment is not recommended and must be avoided after 14 weeks gestation.

      (8) The Soldier is exempt from all immunizations except influenza and tetanus-diphtheria and from exposure to all fetotoxic chemicals noted on the occupational history form. The Soldier is exempt from exposure to chemical warfare and riot control agents (for example, nuclear, biological, and chemical training) and wearing MOPP gear at any time.

      (9) The Soldier may work shifts.

      (10) The Soldier must not climb or work on ladders or scaffolding.

      (11) At 20 weeks of pregnancy, the Soldier is exempt from standing at parade rest or attention for longer than 15 minutes. The Soldier is exempt from participating in swimming qualifications, drown proofing, field duty, and weapons training. The Soldier must not ride in, perform PMCS on, or drive in vehicles larger than light medium tactical vehicles due to concerns regarding balance and possible hazards from falls.

      (12) At 28 weeks of pregnancy, the Soldier must be provided a 15-minute rest period every 2 hours. Her workweek should not exceed 40 hours and the Soldier must not work more than 8 hours in any 1 day. The 8-hour work day does include one hour for physical training (PT) and the hours worked after reporting to work or work call formation, but does not include the PT hygiene time and travel time to and from PT.

      e. Performance of duty. A woman who is experiencing a normal pregnancy may continue to perform military duty until delivery. Only those women experiencing unusual and complicated problems (for example, pregnancy-induced hypertension) will be excused from all duty, in which case they may be hospitalized or placed sick in quarters. Medical personnel will assist unit commanders in determining duties.

      f. Sick in quarters. A pregnant Soldier will not be placed sick in quarters solely on the basis of her pregnancy unless there are complications present that would preclude any type of duty performance.

      The actions for National Guard pregnancy can be found in AR 135-91. Other items of pregnancy may be found in AR 600-20, AR 635-200 for enlisted separations, and AR 600-8-24 for officer separation, and as stated above AR 40-501 with regard to medical aspects of profiles.

      My recommendation would be that you:

      1. Read these regulations

      2. Set up an appointment with your commander immediately

      3. Obtain a medical statement from your civilian doctor concerning your pregnancy and the do’s/don’t

      4. Immediately have this document reviewed by a military doctor and have it turned in to an official military profile

      When you see your commander/1SG be professional, unemotional, and calm. It may even be appropriate to approach the issue with a memorandum to the commander outline the specifics of your request and possible solutions. This can go a long way in ensuring the message is delivered in a objective and professional manner. Most senior leaders want what is best for their Soldiers and will do what is right. Once you provide this information to the chain of command I am sure they will address the issue properly.

      Please let me know if you found this information useful.

      Respectfully

      TOP

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