The Army has revised its breastfeeding and lactation support policy by making it easier for soldiers to meet the demands of both baby and job. Commanders now will provide soldiers with a location to pump, even during field exercises, as well as a means of storage and time to transport or discard.
Other revisions include a requirement that a location to pump is not a restroom. It must be a private secure place with a seat, a shelf or other surface for the pump, an electrical outlet, and access to a reasonably close water source. The policy now also requires providing soldier with adequate time to express milk and recognizing that lactation breaks may be necessary for at least 1 year after the child is born.
“Extensive medical research has documented that breastfeeding has significant health, nutritional, immunologic, developmental, emotional, social, and economic benefits for both mother and child,” the directive says. “In light of those benefits, commanders are responsible for notifying all Soldiers of this [policy] during initial pregnancy counseling.”