Nursing airmen will have a place to feed their infants. In a directive dated Aug. 15, the Air Force has directed all units to provide lactation rooms.
“Women shouldn’t feel like they must choose between serving and being a mother,” said Christy Nolta, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for reserve affairs and airman readiness.
The order lays out “procedures and requirements” to provide private, secure and clean spaces for breastfeeding. The spaces should be situated near workstations. They also should include places to sit, electric outlets, good lighting, climate control, and sinks with hot- and cold-running water. New mothers also must be provided lactation breaks between 15 and 30 minutes in duration every three to four hours, for at least one year after giving birth.
“We received a lot of feedback from nursing mothers about having to pump or nurse in less than ideal facilities,” said Maj. Alea Nadeem, chief of the Air Force women’s initiative. “They were having to pump in bathrooms, locker rooms, and borrowed offices.”