Real Soldiers, Fake Pregnancies

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Army combat vets – remember, they’re limited to men — are donning fake breasts and bellies so they can better understand how pregnant soldiers feel during physical training. It’s part of the service’s Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Exercise Leaders Course.

“This whole thing is pretty uncomfortable,” Sergeant Michael Braden, a 78th Aviation Battalion helicopter crew chief in Japan, told Stars and Stripes of the 25-pound pregnancy simulator. But, he added, “body armor is a lot heavier.” He told the newspaper he didn’t want to take the training, in part because he has no women in his unit. Braden said he never knew the Army has a special training regimen for pregnant troops. “I’ve learned,” the Afghan and Iraq veteran said, “that being pregnant is no excuse to avoid PT.”