Women's Health Portal


Last Updated: December 18, 2017

Army Directive 2016-09, Maternity Leave Policy, 1 March 2016 External Link  (CAC required)  This Army Directive implements Memorandum, Secretary of Defense, February 5, 2016, subject: Directive-type Memorandum (DTM) 16-002, "DoD-Wide Changes to Maternity Leave". Effective 2 February 2016, commanders will authorize up to 12 continuous weeks of non-chargeable maternity leave for eligible Regular Army Soldiers and reserve component Soldiers serving on call or order to active service for a continuous period of at least 12 months. Troop Program Unit (TPU) Soldiers are not eligible for maternity leave, but are excused from any battle assembly (weekend drill) and annual training occurring within the 84 calendar day period immediately following a birth event.

Authorization for Pregnant Soldiers to Mix Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) Items with the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) Maternity Army Combat Uniform, 6 Sep 17.  Army G-1 Uniform Policy for Pregnant Soldiers External Link (CAC required) Pregnant Soldiers are authorized to wear the following items in the Operational Camouflage Pattern with the Universal Camouflage Pattern Maternity Army Combat Uniform and Patrol Cap: Nametape, U.S. Army Nametape, Rank Insignia, current Shoulder Sleeve Insignia, Shoulder Sleeve Insignia for Former Wartime Service. Pregnant Soldiers may also wear the Coyote Brown T-shirt and Coyote Brown Boots with the Universal Camouflage Pattern Maternity ACU. This change only applies to the Maternity Army Combat Uniform.


Do you know about Ubicare External Link? Ubicare delivers important information regarding what to expect while pregnant and continues to give valuable information up to the age of three for the child via social media. Ubicare also provides a platform for researchers and healthcare providers to deliver important health information to our expecting and new parents via social media. If you are not already signed up for Ubicare, ask your nurse at your next obstetric appointment how you can sign up.

Centering Pregnancy

A great way to learn more about your pregnancy, meet new friends, and build support systems for your pregnancy experiences is through Centering Pregnancy External Link.  Centering Pregnancy is a model of group prenatal care that includes three major components: health assessment, education, and support. Eight to twelve women with similar gestational ages meet together for discussion focused on pregnancy, birth, nutrition, breastfeeding, child care, safety, and new mothering issues.  Currently, Centering Pregnancy is available at 10 volume-eligible medical treatment facilities within the Army: San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC), William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC), Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC), Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC), Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC), Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH), Winn Army Community Hospital (WACH), Irwin Army Community Hospital (IACH), Evans Army Community Hospital (EACH), Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC), Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital (BJACH), Weed Army Community Hospital (WACH). 

ACUs for Pregnant, Nursing, and Female Soldiers Trying to Get Pregnant

ALARACT 170/2013 UPDATE TO ALARACT 289/2012 FACTORY TREATED ARMY COMBAT UNIFORMS WITH PERMETHRIN External Link  (CAC required) addresses special circumstances when a Soldier may receive a temporary profile to wear a non-permethrin treated ACU.  While there are no indications of adverse health effects to mother or child from Permethrin-treated clothing, female Soldiers who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to get pregnant are authorized to wear an untreated ACU or maternity uniform.

Who is authorized to wear non-permethrin treated ACUs?

  • Pregnant Soldiers
  • Nursing Soldiers
  • Female Soldiers who are trying to get pregnant
  • Soldiers with known or suspected permethrin hypersensitivity

How do Soldiers trying to become pregnant, pregnant, or postpartum and nursing request a temporary medical profile and purchase an ACU without permethrin?

  • Soldiers must meet with their health care provider to obtain a temporary eProfile (DA Form 3349, physical profile) authorizing the wear of an ACU without permethrin.
  • Proof of this medical profile allows the Soldier to special order a non-treated uniform through the Army Military Clothing Sales stores, at own cost, prior to or after the wear of a non-treated maternity uniform.
  • The profile is issued/monitored as any other temporary profile.  The pregnancy (9 months) and postpartum (6 weeks after delivery) profiles reflect the optional wear of the ACU without permethrin with a maximum duration of 90 days (subject to renewal), with no functional or Army Physical Fitness Test restrictions.
  • The profile can be continued for 12 months; any extension requires approval by the Medical treatment Facility Commander in cooperation with the Soldier's Commander.

ALL maternity ACUs are non-permethrin treated. The maternity ACU is an organizational clothing item obtained through central issue facilities.


Permethrin Factory-Treated ACUs (APHC)  For more information contact your local Preventive Medicine Service/Army Public Health Center Regional Support Staff.  Send e-mail inquiries concerning the DoD Insect Repellent System and the ACU Permethrin to the DoD Pesticide Hotline, pesticide.hotline@amedd.army.mil or call 410-436-3773 / DSN 584-3773 or the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB) website at www.afpmb.org. Concerns may also be addressed to AFPMB, Contingency Liaison Officer at 301-295-8312 / DSN 295-8312/7476; or by writing to AFPMB, ATTN: Contingency Liaison Officer, US Army Garrison- Forest Glen, Armed Forces Pest Management Board, 2460 Linden Lane, Bldg 172, Silver Spring, MD  20910.

Alcohol & Pregnancy

Why Take the Risk? External Link   How much do you know about alcohol use during pregnancy? Take our quiz to find out. NEW!

Women and Alcohol Fact Sheet  External Link Women's bodies react differently to alcohol than men's and as a result, women face unique alcohol related health risks. 

Breast Feeding & Nutrition

The experience of breastfeeding is special for so many reasons – the joyful bonding with your baby, the cost savings, and the health benefits for both mother and baby. Read on for tips and suggestions to help you successfully breastfeed.

The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding - How Communities Can Help  External Link Across the United States, most new mothers hope to breastfeed. Breastfeeding can protect the health of babies and their mothers. With support from their families and communities, mothers are more likely to be able to breastfeed their babies. NEW!

Breast Feeding Resources

Nutritional Needs during Pregnancy External Link

Healthy Eating During Pregnancy External Link

OPM's new Guide for Establishing a Federal Nursing Mother's Program External Link

Breastfeeding In Combat Boots External Link (non-government)  Many women decide to take on the challenge of combining motherhood and the military, and that includes breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby while serving in the armed forces can be one of the most fulfilling, yet demanding times in your life.

Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Communication Resources (OTSG DCOMM approved)
Immunizations and Pregnancy

CDC Fact Sheet on Immunization Before, During, and after Pregnancy External Link

Pregnancy is a Crucial Time for Immunization Health External Link

Oral Health

Women have a lot of health considerations to think about during pregnancy and it's easy to overlook dental health during this busy time.  Brushing and flossing contributes to your overall health and if your mouth is healthy, it's more likely that your baby's mouth will be healthy. The following links provide helpful information on oral health to ensure that you maintain optimal health.

Pregnancy and Your Oral Health (Sep 14)  Educational presentation on the changes pregnancy makes on oral health.

American Dental Association: Mouth Healthy External Link (non-government)

Pregnancy/Postpartum Physical Training Program (P3T)

Exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period can reduce the physical discomforts associated with pregnancy and can promote a faster return to pre-pregnancy fitness levels.  The P3T program is designed for pregnant and postpartum soldiers and is a proven resource for maintaining fitness during and after pregnancy.

P3T Program Information (APHC)

Pregnancy A to Z

VA/DoD Pregnancy Guideline Purple Book  External Link Pregnancy and Childbirth: A Goal Oriented Guide to Prenatal Care is based on the VA/DoD Management of Pregnancy Clinical Practice Guideline, and includes evidence-based  recommendations for prenatal care for all pregnant women receiving care in the DoD and VA healthcare systems.  A PDF is available for download.  NEW!

This Air Force Medicine web site External Link provides information about what you can expect throughout your pregnancy and after the birth of your child. 3-D animations help you understand the changes going on inside your body, and how your baby is growing. There is a special section for new dads. Real parents offer advice and insight.

Postpartum Care

Pregnancy changes your body in more ways than you might have guessed, and it doesn't stop when the baby is born. Taking good care of yourself and your baby is an essential part of postpartum care.

Depression External Link

Parenting External Link

Child Care and Youth Programs External Link

Recovering from Birth External Link

Women, Infant and Children External Link(WIC Program)

TRICARE Pregnancy & Parenting Resources External Link

Smoking and Pregnancy

Warning to Pregnant Women External Link (TobaccoFreeKids.org)

Health Harms Caused Pregnant Women Smoking External Link (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)

Thyroid Disease

American Thyroid Association/ Thyroid Disease and Pregnancy External Link

Workplace Health 

Workplace exposures  External Link related to reproduction and pregnancy are of particular concern to women. Find summaries with links to research of some hazards faced by women in the workplace and links to industry-specific research from CDC.  Includes provisional recommended weight limits for lifting at work during pregnancy. 

Zika Virus

Until more is known and out of an abundance of caution, pregnant women should consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctors first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare providers before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. More information is available on the APHC Zika Virus web page. (APHC)