question about breastfeeding — The Bump
Military Families

question about breastfeeding

One of my soldiers is bf and they need a private place to bf and store milk. I am getting some grief on this matter trying to push it forward. Does anyone know the reg on nursing?
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Re: question about breastfeeding

  • Ive been strictly nursing for the last 10 months and everyday is different. Some days my son wants to nurse every 2-3 hours if he's having a growth spurt or pain from teething other days he might go every 4-5 hours. It's very important that if she wants to keep her milk supply up that she has the time to pump her milk and somewhere to store it. Breast milk shouldn't be out more than 6 hours but I probably wouldn't leave it out for more then 3. 
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  • While I agree I need the reg. Closest I could find was the female hygiene. It said she could pump in the field, butvwould probably have to dump themilk.
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  • You said "Soldier" so I assume you're talking Army.  The DOD doesn't have any overarching guidance that would help here so you have to look for service-specific information.  Unless you have a local policy letter on this subject (highly doubtful) you're not going to find any Army authority that will help you here.  The Army doesn't have a reg, DA policy memo, or directive that addresses helping Soldiers breastfeed (you can search Army Publishing Directorate (APD.us.army.mil if you want to see for yourself).  While there are laws that help civilian employees and entitle them to have a private place to breastfeed (as well as insurance coverage to pay for the pump), none of those apply to the military.  So it really depends on the whims of the Soldier's chain of command.  Are you feeling the love?
  • imageCarnation77:
    You said "Soldier" so I assume you're talking Army.  The DOD doesn't have any overarching guidance that would help here so you have to look for service-specific information.  Unless you have a local policy letter on this subject (highly doubtful) you're not going to find any Army authority that will help you here.  The Army doesn't have a reg, DA policy memo, or directive that addresses helping Soldiers breastfeed (you can search Army Publishing Directorate (APD.us.army.mil if you want to see for yourself).  While there are laws that help civilian employees and entitle them to have a private place to breastfeed (as well as insurance coverage to pay for the pump), none of those apply to the military.  So it really depends on the whims of the Soldier's chain of command.  Are you feeling the love?
    This has been my experience on the topic in two separate commands at two different duty stations. I have a refrigerator in my office so that is where I plan on storing pumped milk. There is a girl in my unit who shuts her office door to pump, but its all at her command's discretion.

    BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

    BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013 Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013

    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

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  • My command has a specific reg

    Married 11/27/09 and TTC right away
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    Baby 1 and 2: BFP 3/3/11 with 2 babies EDD 11/1/11, M/C 4/6/11
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    Baby #6: 2/14/13- BFP! EDD 10/24/13, CP 2/19/13
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  • Thanks for the help. I am talking Army, (National Guard). The soldier kept saying she saw it and federal law, but I'm not going to quote things that don't exist in making my argument. I can push a place for her to pump, but nothing states we have to provide a fridge while we are "out in the field" for drill this weekend. It's kind of a tough luck, but may get her ready for AT where she would have to dump the milk due lack of a freezer. I feel bad, but I will only be able to help her so much. 
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  • imageblondolphn:
    Thanks for the help. I am talking Army, (National Guard). The soldier kept saying she saw it and federal law, but I'm not going to quote things that don't exist in making my argument. I can push a place for her to pump, but nothing states we have to provide a fridge while we are "out in the field" for drill this weekend. It's kind of a tough luck, but may get her ready for AT where she would have to dump the milk due lack of a freezer. I feel bad, but I will only be able to help her so much. 

    Do you have a mess section? Either at your company or at the HQ? I know if I asked my mess section they'd probably let me keep it in their freezer. Or, she could bring a cooler and get ice as often as possible.

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    CJ 05/29/2013

  • We aren't staying at our usual facilities. We are supposed to be qualifying this drill. it was suggested about the cooler she didn't like that idea.  
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  • is it possible to have her provide her own mini fridge and keep it where she is staying? Any plug in for that? if not...I would go with a cooler and keep her milk over ice. If she doesn't like that idea, and can't or won't provide her own fridge then she's SOL. Did she show you this regulation she said she saw? Maybe go to JAG and ask this specific question.

     

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  • imagebrandilc84:

    is it possible to have her provide her own mini fridge and keep it where she is staying? Any plug in for that? if not...I would go with a cooler and keep her milk over ice. If she doesn't like that idea, and can't or won't provide her own fridge then she's SOL. Did she show you this regulation she said she saw? Maybe go to JAG and ask this specific question.

     

     
    We suggested the plug in cooler, she threw a hissy fit. She kept quoting the federal law, but no regs. I got assigned the food service officer so I can ask about the fridge on the kitchen, but not sure if outside food is allowed. I don't have my certs yet to give a yes or no its allowed. Military isn't always common sense. 

    I do know she is not allowed back there so I would have to run everything back there if it's allowed. I am starting to spin my wheels since she isn't willing to compromise. But I now know what to expect when I'm bf. 
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  • imageblondolphn:
    imagebrandilc84:

    is it possible to have her provide her own mini fridge and keep it where she is staying? Any plug in for that? if not...I would go with a cooler and keep her milk over ice. If she doesn't like that idea, and can't or won't provide her own fridge then she's SOL. Did she show you this regulation she said she saw? Maybe go to JAG and ask this specific question.

     

     
    We suggested the plug in cooler, she threw a hissy fit. She kept quoting the federal law, but no regs. I got assigned the food service officer so I can ask about the fridge on the kitchen, but not sure if outside food is allowed. I don't have my certs yet to give a yes or no its allowed. Military isn't always common sense. 

    I do know she is not allowed back there so I would have to run everything back there if it's allowed. I am starting to spin my wheels since she isn't willing to compromise. But I now know what to expect when I'm bf. 

    It sucks she's being difficult and not willing to try any of the suggestions. When we qualify we still sing out a chow hall from the installation and I know the mess NCOIC wouldn't have an issue storing it for her. Other than that and a cooler, that's all I can think of. Unless she knows someone in the area who would be willing to store it for her. 

    Federal law is great and all but doesn't necessarily apply. I mean by reg. we only have to shower once a week unless you're on your period and then it's every two days, why does she think BF is different? It sucks but it's reality. 

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    CJ 05/29/2013

  • JoBenJoBen member

    Depending on how long the milk will have to be in there, a cooler may not be adequate.

    If you're going to have access to a building, and it's practical to have a mini-fridge in there (that she may have to supply) or to use the food service or medical refrigerators, then you should try to make that happen.

    Even the federal law makes an exception for lines of work where the employers just can't reasonably be expected to provide breast pumping facilities. But, this is one of those situations where the higher ups need to do their best to take care of their soldiers, and not to worry about whether or not they're *required* to do anything for her.

  • She's probably thinking of the new federal health care laws that DON'T APPLY TO THE MILITARY.  They only apply to civilian workplaces.  Trust me - I wish they applied to us but they don't.  She needs to get over it.  If this is just a short field exercise then she should be storing frozen breastmilk now to stockpile.  It sounds like you're being as accommodating as you can be but the bottom line is she's in the military and sometimes it sucks.  I'm not trying to be insensitive - I'm active duty and plan to breastfeed and know others who have done so but it requires flexibility and planning and realizing that sometimes it just won't work.
  • And I'm back. We were able to store her milk in the kitchen fridge not a problem. Hooray. I did mention to her for AT (going to the same place) that the kitchen wouldn't have freezers for her to freeze her milk so she will have to toss it while she is there. Her response, she's either sending anyone leaving the area with a cooler to take back with her milk, or she's making her dh drive 2.5 hours to come pick it up. Say wha? I guess if he really wants to come get it, all for it, but at what point does it become too much of a hassle...
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