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Expectant parents have a lot of things on their mind before the arrival of their little one. For pregnant military spouses who are not on active duty, there are important items to know and remember before delivery.
Military life can sometimes throw a few obstacles in the way, but there are also some benefits that military families should know about.
Each military installation may offer a childbirth or parenting class that is of little to no cost for expectant parents. Subjects can range from baby budgeting to newborn care. Depending on the budget and installation, there may be some baby goody bags for you once the class is completed.
Operation Special Delivery offers the volunteer services of a doula. Doulas are matched to pregnant women whose husbands or partners have been severely injured or who have lost their lives due to the current war on terror, or who will be deployed , or unable to attend the birth due to military reason.
As of 2015, Tricare (the military insurance provider) covers all medically necessary maternity care—from your first obstetric visit until six weeks after delivery. Depending on your enrollment status (Prime, Standard or Extra), there may be some out-of-pocket cost. Consult your regional Tricare office for more information.
If your spouse is going to be deployed, there are some options to open up communication with them when it comes time for the delivery. Notify the FRG leader or ombudsman about your pregnancy and anticipated due date. They would be the first point of contact to your deployed service member when you go into labor. Also, find out what information the Red Cross would need to contact your servicemember as a backup. If you are planning to deliver in a military hospital, contact customer service at the hospital for rules on video chats.
Married soldiers who are new dads can now take 10 days of nonchargeable leave time. However, each branch has different rules and policies about the authorized window of taking paternity leave. To be eligible for paternity leave for any military branch, the service member must be on active duty and married.