While it’s healthier for the baby, she says, there are few places where she can sneak away to “express milk” with a breast pump. This takes 15 minutes or so, every few hours, too long to tie up a bathroom.
She runs through her options — communal latrine, shared office, parking lot, boss’s office or conference room — and none seem to fit the bill.
This is not a new problem. There is a book, “Breastfeeding in Combat Boots,” which tackles uniform regs, shipping milk to your baby, the dangers of hazardous materials exposure, and probably most importantly, educating those around you. Last month, Picerne Housing in Fort Bragg had to apologize to an Army wife after forcing her out of an office because she was breastfeeding.
Under the regulations (PDF), all branches place the onus on commanders to provide a private space to moms–except for the Army. And nursing is encouraged by all branches but Coast Guard.
In workplaces across America, this sounds hard enough. For soldier moms, it’s undoubtedly a challenge.[via Army Girl, Army Wife]