Army Releases Servicewide Breastfeeding Policy | World Defense

Army Releases Servicewide Breastfeeding Policy

Redheart

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Army releases servicewide breastfeeding policy

The Army on Tuesday became the final military branch to issue a servicewide breastfeeding policy, with a seven-point memo from Army Secretary John McHugh offering basic guidelines on facility requirements, supplies and related concerns.

Among the directives, which apply to active, Guard and Reserve members:

* Breastfeeding soldiers will be provided with a designated "private space with locking capabilities, an electrical outlet and access to a safe water source." That space will not be a bathroom stall; if it's located in a restroom, it must be a "fully enclosed, separate area."
* Soldiers will be responsible for providing their own pump and storage materials.
* Breastfeeding soldiers remain eligible for field training and other exercises, but must be given "private space ... to express milk" during such activities.
* All soldiers returning to duty who desire to breastfeed should inform their chain of command as soon as possible to allow for support plans.

The memo does not state how many breaks a breastfeeding soldier should be given, at what intervals or for how long. Among the services, only the Air Force's policy gives specific guidance, requiring breaks of 15 to 30 minutes every three to four hours.

The new guidance comes more than three months after then-Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told Rep. Niki Tsongas, a Massachusetts Democrat who has sponsored legislation to require such a policy, in a letter that the service was reviewing its breastfeeding rules.
 

lmib

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I am glad this was passed--I didn't know the Army was the last of the branches to pass a breastfeeding policy. Not only is this progress for our female soldiers, but also will allow Army G1 to focus on other issues in our military, specifically suicide prevention.
 
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