There are women I know that have chosen the breast, and have been able to provide milk for their child upon returning to work through pumping. However, when I became pregnant, I looked at our environment (ARMY!) and wondered how women in the military continued breastfeeding in a male-dominated environment. Aside from the recent issues plaguing the military (particularly its women), I wondered how women found not only time, but an environment in which to express. What didn't even cross my mind, until I was speaking with a military mommy, is how one continues to provide milk for their child while in the field, during an exercise, or TDY. Sadly, most well-intentioned military mommies are left with no other choice than to supplement with formula, even if they never had that intention.
In a country where breastfeeding is still often taboo, and though most American mothers breastfeed, moms don't do it for the suggested amount of time, we should find every way possible to support those who choose the breast.
In my research I came across a group called Breastfeeding in Combat Boots. It is based on a book marketed for military moms seeking to breastfeed while serving, and has been enveloped into the ever-growing breastfeeding movement. Based on demand and interest, a movement within the military itself has started, and mothers across the country have become involved in making breastfeeding not only accessible to military moms, but a priority.
A lawmaker that I have looked up to for some time now, Kirsten Gillibrand, has decided to draft a military-wide breastfeeding policy. Not only is this unprecedented but it is sorely needed, and Senator Gillibrand needs your support! Please join me in writing an email of your support to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, check out this article on why we need breastfeeding policy in the military. Let's serve those who serve us!
Peace, love, breast,