I’ve always considered myself very lucky to be associated with the military. I have a sense of pride that my husband is serving his country, and by being married to him, I feel as though I’m serving my country in my own little way. Sure, we have to deal with deployments, but the military gives us a lot to compensate for those endless separations.
When I found out I was pregnant, a whole new world opened up to me and I learned about the perks associated with pregnancy in the military. I’ve gathered a few below! Let’s check them out.
Health Care: Prenatal care is one of the most important things you can do for you and your baby before you give birth, and thankfully the military provides this service. Health care in general is important in our lives. Through the military and Tricare, we know we don’t have to worry about whether we’re covered over most procedures. Take advantage of Tricare, no matter if you’re on Prime or Standard, and get those regular check-ups!
Doula: If your military member is deployed or has passed away, you can be eligible for free doula services through Tricare. If you don’t know, doulas are certified labor coaches that provide non-medical support for women leading up to labor and during delivery. Doulas can offer postpartum advice as well, in areas such as breastfeeding and adjusting to having a newborn. That support can be valuable if you have no one else to help you get through the process. Talk to your provider to see if you can take advantage of this service.
Childcare: Once the baby is born, you have access to plenty of affordable childcare options through the military. The most popular would be the Child Development Center (CDC), where you can drop your child off when they are as young as 6 weeks old. They offer hourly care for a great price, and discounts for those with deployed spouses. Also, plenty of bases offer childcare at the gyms so you can get a workout in without worrying about the baby.
Child Programs: Having a child is difficult but can open up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to activities offered by the military. There are reading times at the library, discounted bowling, face painting and bouncy castles at base-wide events, and the list goes on. Keep an eye out for activities that are appropriate to your child’s age level and don’t be afraid to participate!
Parking Space: This is one of those fun perks to take advantage of, if you feel like it. Most exchanges and commissaries offer close parking spaces to those expecting babies. I have yet to use them (at 23 weeks now) because I like the exercise and am not that big, but they can be valuable as you approach your due date. Don’t feel bad if you use the spots! Unless you’re not pregnant, of course.
There are advantages and disadvantages to being associated with the military, but being pregnant and having children has its perks. Keep an eye out and you’ll find that there are plenty of options for you and your family.