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Army breastfeeding moms

Posts: 42
1/3/14 11:05 A

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BF/Pumping Air Force mom here and sooo grateful that there's now a regulation SPECIFICALLY allowing us to be able to pump at work!

Posts: 1
9/26/09 6:55 P

I am enlisted and I have great support in my unit. My only issue is that I don't pump that often due to the fact that there is no place too pump. I usually go home during lunch and by that time I'm in pain. I hate to kick people out their office because it is a place of business. I'm almost to the point where I want to give up. But I don't. I'm just really frustrated

Posts: 6
7/1/09 4:40 P

its kinda sad that military moms feel they have to stop breast feeding due to lack of support. I'm an officer so i felt lik eit was my duty to educate my command so that every mom could breast feed or not. I pumped everywhere and when we went to the field, i pumped in the medic tent, vehicles, i set up my poncho around my cot and pumped. I think i was really fortunate though. My mom thought i was crazy but i enjoyed breaking down the walls. It's completely do-able. In garrison, i pumped in the bathroom which looking back i regret and think it's kinda unsanitary to do it taht way. I suggest you tell your supervisor that you plan to pump every 2 or 3 hours and have a schedule so it becomes routine to both your body and boss. A plan always helps!

Posts: 4587
4/12/09 8:18 P

Legally, military or not, if they're letting people take breaks to smoke, they have to let you take breaks to pump. You might have to be creative as to WEAR you pump, but a handheld manual pump doesn't take up much space, and heck, you could do it under a poncho if you needed to. You might not have anywhere to store the milk, but at least you can maintain your supply.

If other people are getting personal breaks and you're not able to break for pumping, then I would talk to your supervisor, work up the chain of command, and if you're still getting resistence, make an IG complaint. And despite what anyone tells you, they can't give you negative consequences for filing an IG complaint, otherwise they risk UCMJ punishment.

I was set up to go to law school (accepted and everything) and become a JAG when I decided to separate and have a baby instead, so I made a point to understand how the legal system in the military works in regards to regulations and such.

Posts: 45
7/15/07 1:06 P

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I just wanted to thank you ladies for all this great information!

Posts: 942
6/18/07 5:25 A

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CJGarret posted the Army regs on pregnancy and here are the profile limits:

The profile will indicate the following limitations:
• Except under unusual circumstances, a pregnant Soldier should not be reassigned to overseas commands. A Soldier may be assigned within CONUS. A Soldier must obtain medical clearance prior to any reassignment.
• Soldier will not be assigned to duties when nausea, easy exhaustion, or sudden lightheadedness would be hazardous to a Soldier or to others, to include all aviation duty, classes 1/1A/2/3.
• Soldier will be restricted from assignments involving frequent or routine exposures to fuel vapors or skin exposure to spilled fuel, such as fuel handling or otherwise filling military vehicles with fuels such as mogas, JP8, and JP4.
• Soldier will not be permitted to paint, weld, solder, grind, sand on metal, wash parts, or perform other duties where she is routinely exposed to carbon monoxide, diesel exhaust, hazardous chemicals, paints, organic solvent vapors, or metal dusts and fumes.

• Soldier cannot participate in indoor weapons training, but firing of weapons at outdoor sites and laser weapons training is permitted. No exposure to organic solvents above permissible levels is permitted.

• Soldier may do preventive maintenance checks and services on vehicles using impermeable gloves and coveralls. A Soldier may work in areas adjacent to the motor pool if adequately ventilated and if shown by industrial hygiene sampling not to pose a hazard from chemicals, fumes or engine exhaust.
• Soldier should avoid excessive vibrations from vehicles greater than 1-¼ ton on unpaved surfaces.
• Wearing of individual body armor is not recommended and should be avoided after 14 weeks gestation.
Upon the diagnosis of pregnancy, a Soldier is exempt from mandatory unit PT and from PT testing. Pregnant Soldiers should enroll and participate in pregnancy PT programs (where
available) after receiving HCP approval to participate.
• Soldier is exempt from wearing load-bearing equipment.
• Soldier is exempt from all routine immunizations except influenza and tetanus-diphtheria.
• Soldier is exempt from exposure to all fetotoxic (poisonous to the fetus) chemicals noted on the occupational history form. She is exempt from exposure to chemical warfare and riot control agents and the wearing of mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear at any time.
• Soldier may work shifts.
• Soldier must not climb or work on ladders or scaffolding.
• At 20 weeks of pregnancy, a Soldier is exempt from standing at parade rest or attention for longer than 15 minutes. A Soldier is exempt from participating in swimming qualifications, drown proofing, field duty, and weapons training. The Soldier should not ride in, perform preventive maintenance, checks and services (PMCS) on, or drive vehicles larger than light medium tactical vehicles.
• At 28 weeks of pregnancy, a Soldier must be provided a 15-minute rest period every 2 hours.
A Soldier’s workweek should not exceed 40 hours, and a Soldier should not work more than 8 hours in any one day. The duty day begins when reporting for formation or duty and ends 8 hours later.
• If a Soldier is experiencing a normal pregnancy, a Soldier may continue to perform military duty until delivery. Only unusual and complicated problems will allow excuse from all duty, and medical personnel will assist unit commanders in determining duties.
• A Soldier will not be placed sick in quarters solely on the basis of pregnancy unless there are complications present that would preclude any type of duty performance.

This is the best quick and dirty source of information I've come across for regs and Army policy on pregnancy and postpartum.

Edited by: ZOOINMYHOUSE at: 6/18/2007 (05:29)

Surprise Surprise! Oh, and SQUEEEEE!!!
Due to budget constraints, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off until further notice.

Still using Mojo? Get yourself some JuJu, Baracka, or better yet..some FU.

Posts: 942
6/18/07 5:20 A

My Profile
Here are the Air Force regs that were referenced in my profile (even though I am Army), and the DoDI that was mentioned. I copied out all the parts that pertained to being pregnant and a link to each reg.

AFI 10-248
3. Member is exempt from FA during pregnancy and 180 days after delivery date IAW para
and Pregnant members who were in the poor category prior to becoming pregnant will
continue to participate in the FIP and document.

4.2.9. Pregnant service members will engage in physical activity to maintain cardiovascular and muscular
fitness throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period in accordance with medical guidance
(American College of Gynecology/American College of Sports Medicine). Pre-natal counseling will
include information on safe PT and nutrition for appropriate weight gain during pregnancy. Members will be exempted from FA during pregnancy and for 180 days after delivery.
This exemption is only for the FA and does not exclude the member from participating in a fitness-
training program. Members should discuss their fitness program with their provider and consult
with the FPM. All individuals will maintain workout documentation on AF Form 1975.
Pregnant members who were in the poor category prior to pregnancy will continue to participate
in the FIP and document that participation. The member’s HCP will determine fitness test exemption for pregnancy ending earlier
than full term.
28 AFI10-248 25 SEPTEMBER 2006 Pregnant Reserve members should discuss their fitness program with their personal physician.
4.2.10. Medical exemptions for FA should not affect assignments, evaluations, training, or promotions
unless the member is affected by a 4T profile/MEB action as noted above.

AFI 44-102

2.15. Restrictions for USAF Military Personnel During Pregnancy.
2.15.1. Duty Restriction Recommendations. The patient's obstetrical healthcare provider, working with Public Health personnel,
Bioenvironmental Engineers (BEE), Flight Medicine, and the patient's supervisor: Restricts duty for active duty pregnant personnel based on the patient’s work environment
and overall medical condition. Documents the duty restrictions on AF Form 422, Physical Profile Serial Report,
and forwards the form to the Physical Exams section. A profile officer in either Flight Medicine
or Occupational Medicine will ensure that the occupational hazards affecting pregnancy
have been addressed in the restrictions, and that the member’s profile is changed to a 4T,
potentially disqualifying the member from deployment or a permanent change of station
move. See AFI-36-2110, Assignments, for details. The 4T, profile will remain in effect until the completion of any post-pregnancy
convalescent leave. Physical Exams will ensure that the duty restrictions are sent to the member’s
Military Personnel Flight (MPF) and to the member’s unit. In all cases, the duty restriction should attempt to balance the patient’s medical
needs against the right of the military member to fully participate in unit activities. The Air Force Reserve (AFRES) and the Air National Guard (ANG) medical units use
(military) public health recommendations along with appropriate Reserve and Guard directives to
complete AF Form 422. For Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMA), the unit of attachment: Completes AF Form 422 using base public health procedures. Sends a copy of the IMA's AF Form 422 to HQ ARPC/SGS for disposition.
2.16. Chemical Warfare Defense Ensemble (CWDE).
2.16.1. Pregnant Military Members: May not participate in mask confidence training or in any in-chamber training. The physical activities of pregnant military members will be in accordance with the limits/
restrictions determined by the patient’s healthcare provider. Recommendations of civilian
healthcare providers will be reviewed by a military medical provider, who will, in turn, make a
final duty recommendation to the military member and her supervisor. Less than 20 weeks gestational age, wear CWDE until it no longer fits or use these
ambient temperature guidelines:
48 AFI44-102 1 JULY 1998 If the temperature is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, wear the full ensemble. If the temperature is greater than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, wear only mask, hood,
and helmet. Carry the chemical protective suit. Do not wear or carry the flak vest or web
belt. After 20 weeks gestation, must demonstrate proficiency in donning the mask at the
beginning of an exercise or training. After completing the proficiency demonstration, carry the
mask but do not have to use it. Neither carry nor wear the helmet, flak vest, web belt, or chemical
protective suit.
2.17. Assignment Curtailment In Isolated or Remote Areas.
2.17.1. Pregnant members assigned to areas without obstetrical care will have their assignments curtailed
by the 24th week of pregnancy or earlier.
2.17.2. If the local medical personnel are not capable of managing the early complications of pregnancy
or the pregnancy is complicated, the member’s assignment should be immediately curtailed.
2.18. Weight and Fitness Compliance.
2.18.1. Postpartum active-duty women must comply with the Air Force Physical Fitness and Weight
Control Program 6 months after delivery or as recommended by their obstetrical provider.
2.19. Illness During the Prenatal Period.
2.19.1. Providers may not recommend convalescent leave during the prenatal period.
2.19.2. Providers authorize normal quarters for up to 72 hours. When the complication is related to
the pregnancy, use Quarters-OB (Obstetrical). NOTE: There is no duration limitation, but the attending
provider must see the patient at least weekly.
2.19.3. Providers place prenatal patients discharged from inpatient status, but medically unable to
return to duty, in Subsisting-Elsewhere Status.

AFI 48-110

11.1. Ask if pregnant. If the answer is “yes” or “maybe” exclude from immunization or refer for
evaluation. If the answer is “no”, immunize. If a live virus vaccine is administered, counsel the individual
to avoid becoming pregnant for three months and document in the health record (SF 600,
Health Record--Chronological Record of Medical Care).

DoDI 1342.19

4.13. Military mothers of newborns shall receive a 4-month deferment from duty
away from the home station for the period immediately following the birth of a child.
This provision is to assist the member in developing family care plans and to establish
a pattern of child care. Single members or one member of a military couple who
adopt shall receive a 4-month deferment from the date the child is placed in the home
as part of the formal adoption process. Similarly, Reserve component members
receive a 4-month deferment from involuntary recall to active duty. This 4-month
deferment policy is further explained in DoD Directive 1315.7 (reference h).

Surprise Surprise! Oh, and SQUEEEEE!!!
Due to budget constraints, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off until further notice.

Still using Mojo? Get yourself some JuJu, Baracka, or better yet..some FU.

Posts: 942
6/16/07 5:00 P

My Profile
Since it can be difficult to pump and get your daily stuff done at the same time, what are some strategies people have had to accomplish both?

What did you do to get your child and your body ready for reduced nursing and more of the pumping/bottle?

I've read stories about mom's pumping on deployment, but my experience tells me your job and your unit would be better off if you didn't take that much time away from work. They've mostly reported stories on officers, so hearing from some NCOs as well would be useful for balance.

Surprise Surprise! Oh, and SQUEEEEE!!!
Due to budget constraints, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off until further notice.

Still using Mojo? Get yourself some JuJu, Baracka, or better yet..some FU.

Posts: 9
6/11/07 2:39 P

Hello, Ladies!
Listen to CJGarett- I am an Army reservist who is mobilized (DH is AGR, used to be AC) and I work for the RRC surgeon's office (for you AC folks, that's the BIG headquarters for 5 states). We have NEVER issued a postpartum profile that says you cannot be deployed for 6 months, I think that what people are refering to is the 6 months no APFT reg. I have review the regs several times myself, and I have never seen that 6 month no deployment rule. Everything that CJGarett has said I agree with- I think she's quoted the regs exactly and everything.
With my first, I pumped three sometimes four times a day at work (I have done many Mob's both conus & oconus) and it really takes no time at all to pump (once your body gets the hang of it), so it's almost like a quick bathroom break. I had to use the hand pump becuase of no electricity, but it IS DO-ABLE!!! If you really want to b-feed your little one, you will find ways to make it happen.
Plus, a little supplimenting with pumped/stored milk and/or formula is OK!! REALLY. You are making a HUGE personal sacrifice by staying in the service and you should be proud of your decisions!!!
Unfortunetly, the army/other branches are not "women friendly", --they just arnt. I dont think they ever will be. So do what's best for you and your family/career.
Good luck to you!
Ps- reserve regs are the same as AC regs (we only have a few extra regs to handle reserve issues) but the medical reg is the same!

BabyPoints: 811
Posts: 65
6/8/07 6:54 P

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APONDI's Photo
didn't say that the profile made me undeployable, it was the classification. I did not go into the details. Good luck

Edited by: APONDI at: 6/13/2007 (18:12)

She's my doll

Posts: 686
5/14/06 12:59 P

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I was talking to one of the LT's in our battalion about nursing. She pumped as long as she could but did say having to be in the field or doing training exercises did create some interesting situations. She'd often pump in the back of the TMP out in the field.

Jake was born June 16th.
He joins his big brothers, Brendan (4) and Colin (3).

BabyPoints: 467
Posts: 73
5/13/06 7:14 P

My Profile
I think you are at the mercy of your commander. My son had and still does have GI issues, I did not have enough milk stored up to leave him for even a day, so my commander let me make up drill with batalion they were staying at home station.If you Baby has issues I had my baby dr write must stay near baby it kinda helped,Other than that I found no regs supporting breastfeeding, we are at the commanders mercy. Start storing/freezing your milk just in case. Hope that helps

Active Army
39 years old
Samy was Born Sept 30th he was 8lbs 4 oz 21 1/4 inches long
Married for 18 years
Inow have 3 boys 17 & 13 years and Samy

Posts: 8
3/4/06 8:40 A

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I am in the Army and am a former company commander. I feel it is my duty to provide the right information regarding deployment and leave. I do not know if this applies to all the services, but I believe the letter from the LLL was misleading and erroneous in its information. The following are excerpts from two Personnel regulations the Army uses, and which commanders turn to when needing to understand how to deal with pregnant soldiers.
AR 600-8-10 dated 15 February 2006
4–27. Rules to request pregnancy home leave
a. Pregnancy home leave is a chargeable leave (ordinary, advanced, excess) requested by a soldier to return home or another place for maternity care or the birth of a child.
b. The unit commander is the approval authority.
c. Leave granted is until expected date of delivery.
d. Termination of leave occurs with the onset of labor or other medical necessity.
e. Leave extension will be granted if delivery is late.
f. Travel restriction “(preventing the soldiers return to her unit)” is not a basis to terminate leave.
g. Attachment to another installation or facility is not authorized if the purpose is to conserve leave.

5–3. Rules to use convalescent leave
a. Convalescent leave is a nonchargeable absence from duty granted to expedite a soldier’s return to full duty after illness, injury, or childbirth.
b. The hospital commander or designee is the approval authority for convalescent leave for 30 days or less (42 days after normal pregnancy and childbirth). Only hospital commanders will approve convalescent leave in excess of 42 days after childbirth when a soldier is assigned or attached to the medical holding unit (AR 40–3, para 9–2) during one continuous period of hospitalization. If the soldier is not hospitalized, unit commander is the approval authority (para 5–5).
c. The unit commander is the approval authority for up to 30 days convalescent leave (42 days after normal
pregnancy and childbirth) for a soldier returning to duty after illness or injury (para 5–7).
d. The approval authorities establish procedures for granting convalescent leave.
e. Hospital commanders are the only approval authority for requests in excess of 30 days (or in excess of 42 days for childbirth).

AR 614-30 dated 23 September 2004
3–8. Soldier eligibility for overseas (outside continental United States) deployment
a. Hostile fire area exemptions, deferments, assignments, and waivers.
(5) Adoption, childbirth, and non-deployment. The mother of a newborn is non-deployable for 4 months from the date of the child’s birth. One member of a military couple, or a single parent, seeking to adopt a child is non-deployable for 4 months from the date the child is scheduled to be officially placed in the home pending adoption. A waiver may be requested to permit deployment with the unit during the 4-month non-deployable period following a newborn’s birth or the scheduled placement of a child pending adoption.

Posts: 7
1/29/06 4:31 A

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Hi everyone. I'm an AD Air Force mom due in September who plans on breastfeeding. I'm scheduled to deploy in '07 when my baby will be about four months old. I'm told that my profile stating I'm not worldwide qualified will expire two months after my baby is born. I'm curious to learn where it's a reg that women can't be deployed until their baby is 6 months ols. I know the AF is different from the Army, but alot of the regs are the same for all branches.

Posts: 557
1/24/06 4:31 P

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Medical gave me this pregnancy book with all armed forces info. Try these Army websites:

I hope you find what you are looking for.


Trent born 2/10/06

Posts: 44
1/24/06 1:03 P

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SLDEYO's Photo
Hello All,
I got a response from my local LLL leader and I copied just what she asked me to read. Hope this helps.--Stephanie

Serving Those Who Serve Us
Alexis Hooper
Waldorff MD USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 40 No. 5, October-November 2004, pp. 110-11.
Working with mothers in the military can be a unique opportunity for La Leche League Leaders. These mothers have to overcome many obstacles to win the right to breastfeed their children. The military is—and will continue to be—a male-dominated society; however, women in the military still want to have a family as much as civilian women. While many military units are progressive and include a place to pump and even provide breast pumps, some have never been faced with the challenge of accommodating a breastfeeding service member. It may seem embarrassing and overwhelming for the new mother and her supervisors.

Before her baby is born, it is important for a military mother to tell her supervisors that she intends to breastfeed. Sharing this information will prevent commanders from being caught off guard, scrambling to fit pumping into the often hectic military workday. The military mothers who understand and are educated about breastfeeding, and "who discuss their concerns with their chains of command, usually have the best success in getting the support that is needed in the workplace," explains Lara Mulvaney, a Leader with an LLL Group in Stuttgart, Germany, which serves the needs of military wives, along with active duty soldiers.

In the United States military, the active duty military mother must return to work six weeks after her baby’s birth. Unless she uses her personal vacation, she cannot change this situation except with a doctor’s order. Furthermore, she may not be deployed overseas within six months of birth. Yet, if she is not aware of this regulation, she could be sent away sooner. She can appeal for her entitlement to stay with her baby for six months or she may be able to work with her supervisors to extend the length of her maternity leave. (Members of the Reserve who are called to active duty have the same rights as those currently on active duty.) When assisting a military mother, remind her of her right to appeal. In the military, a commander of higher status is always available to whom a soldier can make a complaint.

"Israel is a little different," explains Brandel Falk, an LLL Leader in Jerusalem, Israel, "as virtually every adult man is in the army." Both men and women serve full-time at age 18 unless they get a deferment. Women must serve for two years while men serve for three. Men then serve about a month per year until they are released permanently. Women are usually released from military responsibility when they get married or pregnant. There’s also a permanent army in which men and women sign up to serve on an ongoing basis. These women can continue to serve after marriage and pregnancy. They receive a pregnancy leave, but then must return to duty.

"The biggest challenge that many military mothers face with breastfeeding," offers Lara Mulvaney, "is probably the fact that many do not have private offices or lounges that they can use to pump." Many higher ranking officers do have their own private areas, and have more control over their own schedules, she says, which enables them to express milk to feed their babies. "Many have to find creative solutions, such as pumping in a car, having the babysitter bring the baby at lunchtime, pumping under a poncho in the field, and many others! I have heard many funny stories," she says.

Leaders can offer the military mother suggestions for working with commanders to find a suitable time and place for pumping and storing her milk. Most units have a refrigerator full of sodas and snacks where she could store her milk. Service members are given breaks for smoking, eating, and religious practices, so there is no reason why she should not receive the same amount of time to provide milk for her baby. Perhaps she could study military manuals pertaining to her job while pumping; commanders appreciate service members who try to improve their skills. Give her information that shows that breastfed babies are sick less often, which means she’ll be at work more. Also suggest she show the effects that sudden weaning can have on both her body and on the health of her baby. Perhaps she can even find a doctor within the military medical system who will provide a health reason why she must nurse. In light of recent military involvements, many mothers are being sent away from their families with little warning. If they cannot delay their deployment, they will need to find ways to make the weaning process and impending separation as easy as possible.

"My experience working with active duty mothers is to cry with them and help them wean as gradually as possible when they are deployed," shares Carroll Beckham, a Leader with LLL of Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA, which serves many military wives and soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg. She continues:

I remember one mother who came to our Group for over a year and was still breastfeeding her toddler when she was sent to Korea, unaccompanied, for a year. She took it much better than I did and nursed up until the last minute.

Some branches of the US military allow women to leave the service early for pregnancy or family hardship. She may not be willing to take this option, but maybe she is willing to try to change her job or duties to allow more time with her family. Of course, she may not be able to leave her job, but she may be able to work different hours or work in an administrative position that will keep her close to her baby.

Mother to Nia Christina~~09/07/02
Sienna Rae~~02/02/06

Posts: 957
1/20/06 7:04 P

I read on another post that there was a reg. I know with the AF if your child is in CDC you can come there every three hours to breastfeed. But I've never seen the reg for it it was something that was just accepted. In my current situation I think it might be a problem though.

BabyPoints: 467
Posts: 73
1/20/06 5:35 P

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I am in the Army and breasfeeding I am having a hard time finding any regs that will help state my rights as a breastfeeding Army Soildier. I heard there is one that says breastfeeding mother should not be deployed until baby is 4 months old. Right now I am pumping every 2 hours and I am told I am to go on advance party a 3 hour road trip and be staying away from my baby for 3 days I do not know if they will have a refer there for milk storage and where I will be able to pump. So if there are any one out here that knows any regs please past the info on to us breastfeeding mommies.

Active Army
39 years old
Samy was Born Sept 30th he was 8lbs 4 oz 21 1/4 inches long
Married for 18 years
Inow have 3 boys 17 & 13 years and Samy

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