Women first joined the U.S. military 100 years ago. Now there are over 200,000 women in active-duty and many are moms.
Women make up 15% of active-duty military personnel, 17% of active-duty officers, and 15% of enlisted personnel. Supporting women in the military means making space for breastfeeding mothers and providing clean and private places for them to pump milk when they're away from their infants.
Providing appropriate lactation accomodations for mothers in the military doesn't need to be time intensive or cost-prohibitive, but it does require planning and accurate information. This quick list will help you get started.
Assess Need And Space
- Identify the number of current and future end-users including: military staff, personnel, administrators, visitors.
Asses the size of the location and facility: What distance will mothers have to travel?
Measure available square footage.
Consdider accessibility needs: Will you neeed ADA accommodations?
Build Or Buy
Once you've assessed your need and space capacity, you’ll need to decide whether to build out a new dedicated lactation room or buy a portable lactation pod. Space and time are both limited resources, so you’ll also want to factor in available funds, timetable for project completion, and the cost of workplace disruption. To help with your decision, here’s a side-by-side comparison:
Providing clean, comfortable, and private spaces for mothers to express milk ensures that mothers don't need to choose between feeding their infant and doing their job.