Women's Health Portal

Breastfeeding Resources

Last Updated: August 02, 2018
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Breastfeeding in the military can be challenging but rewarding. Medical research proves breastfeeding has significant health, nutritional, immunologic, development, emotional, social and economic benefits for both mother and child. The Women's Health Portal provides valuable breastfeeding resources to meet the unique needs of the breastfeeding service member.


World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)  is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding worldwide based on the Innocenti Declaration, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future, and the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding.  WBW is officially celebrated from 1-7 August by over 170 countries.

Breastfeeding Policy and Guidance

Army Directive 2015-43 on breastfeeding and lactation support  (REVISED NOV 2015) External Link The revised Army Directive (AD) on breastfeeding and lactation support is more detailed and provides information on space requirements and time recommendations for breastfeeding and pumping.

OTSG/MEDCOM Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Policy 16-005 (21 JAN 2016) External Link MEDCOM policy to establish guidance for implementation of a breastfeeding policy that addresses early postpartum and workplace lactation support in MEDCOM facilities.

DA MEMO Authorizing Female Soldiers to wear an optional 499 or Sand T-Shirt during postpartum nursing (12 APR 2018) External Link Female soldiers who are nursing are authorized to wear an optional Tan 499 or Sand T-Shirt designed specifically for that purpose with the Class C Utility Uniforms.  This exception applies only to those soldiers during their postpartum nursing period. 

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Nursing Mother's in Federal Employment  (22 DEC 2010)  External Link  As the Nation's largest employer, the Federal Government strives to be a leader of wellness programs and progressive workforce policies.  On December 20, 2010, President Obama delegated authority to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to provide guidance to executive branch civilian employees on workplace accommodations for employees who are nursing mothers.   

Federal Worksite Lactation Accommodation Law   (23 MAR 2010) External Link  The U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 4207 has specific provisions requiring businesses to implement basic lactation support.  It Requires that employers with >50 employees provide "a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express milk; a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk."  

OPM Guide for Establishing a Nursing Mother's Program (JAN 2013) External Link The Federal Government is challenged to set the pace in changing the culture of the American workplace to support employees who are devoted to their families. This includes nursing mothers who want to continue lactation after they return to the office. 

Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Communication Resources (OTSG DCOMM approved)

Breastfeeding as an Active Duty Soldier' Policy Presentation External Link (restricted access - AKO) Information brief developed by the Women's Health Service Line (WHSL) to provide information and resources regarding breastfeeding as an active duty Soldier.

Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Trifold External Link (restricted access - AKO) Outlines the Army Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Policy and the associated responsibilities of the Army, Commanders, and Soldiers.  Provides information on the proven benefits of breastfeeding. 

Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Policy Communication Plan External Link (milSuite/CAC required) Communication plan informs Commanders, Soldiers, Family members and other key stakeholders of the Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) new Breastfeeding and Lactation Policy for postpartum Soldiers; the benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child and how the new policy enhances Army readiness and retention. 

Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) Theme on Breastfeeding and Lactation Support External Link (milSuite/CAC required) In support of Army Directive 2015-43 (Revised Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Policy), the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1 leveraged the expertise of MEDCOM subject matter experts to conduct a comprehensive review of current Army guidance, Services policies, best practices and current civilian healthcare breastfeeding literature to develop input for Army Regulation (AR) 600-20 on Army Breastfeeding and Lactation and Support. 

Breastfeeding Support Plan Sample Memorandum External Link  (password protected) (AKO)  This sample memorandum proposes a support plan to assist Soldiers in breastfeeding upon return to military duty.

Breastfeeding and Lactation Support (BFLS) Rooms

All of the Army Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs) continue to improve and expand the number of BFLS rooms in their facilities.  If you need to pump or feed your baby, ask about their BFLS room(s) if you'd like a quiet, private place to pump or feed your baby. 

STAND-TO! Edition: Army Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Policy

STAND-TO! Edition: Army Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Policy (13 OCT 2015) External Link Based on Secretary of the Army-approved Army Directive 2015-37 Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Policy, effective Sept. 29, 2015, commanders will designate a private space with locking capabilities, an electrical outlet, and access to a safe water source.

ACUs without Permethrin Allowed for Nursing Soldiers

ALARACT 170/2013 UPDATE OF ALARACT 289/2012 FACTORY TREATED ARMY COMBAT UNIFORMS WITH PERMETHRIN (CAC required) addresses special circumstances when a Soldier may receive a temporary profile to wear a non-permethrin treated ACU.  While there are no indications of adverse health effects to mother or child from Permethrin-treated clothing, female Soldiers that are pregnant, nursing, or trying to get pregnant are authorized to wear an untreated ACU or maternity uniform.

Pregnant_Nursing Poster
 Who is authorized to wear non-permethrin treated ACUs?
  • Pregnant Soldiers
  • Nursing Soldiers
  • Female Soldiers who are trying to get pregnant
  • Soldiers with known or suspected permethrin hypersensitivity

How do Soldiers trying to become pregnant, pregnant, or post-partum and nursing request a temporary medical profile and purchase an ACU without permethrin?

  • Soldiers must meet with their health care provider to obtain a temporary eProfile (DA Form 3349, physical profile) authorizing the wear of an ACU without permethrin.
  • Proof of this medical profile allows the Soldier to special order a non-treated uniform through the Army Military Clothing Sales stores, at own cost, prior to or after the wear of a non-treated maternity uniform.
  • The profile is issued/monitored as any other temporary profile.  The pregnancy (9 months) and post-partum (6 weeks after delivery) profiles reflect the optional wear of the ACU without permethrin with a maximum duration of 90 days (subject to renewal), with no functional or Army Physical Fitness Test restrictions.
  • The profile can be continued for 12 months; any extension requires approval by the Medical treatment Facility Commander in cooperation with the Soldier's Commander.

ALL maternity ACUs are non-permethrin treated. The maternity ACU is an organizational clothing item obtained through central issue facilities.

STAND-TO! TEMPORARY WEAR OPTION for SOLDIERS – ACU WITHOUT PERMETHRIN (23 SEP 2013)External Link

Permethrin Factory-treated ACUs (APHC)  For more information contact your local Preventive Medicine Service or the Army Public Health Center.  Send e-mail inquiries concerning the DoD Insect Repellent System and the ACU Permethrin to the DoD Pesticide Hotline, pesticide.hotline@amedd.army.mil or call 410-436-3773 / DSN 584-3773 or the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB) website at https://www.acq.osd.mil/eie/afpmb/ . Concerns may also be addressed to AFPMB, Contingency Liaison Officer at 301-295-8312 / DSN 295-8312/7476; or by writing to AFPMB, ATTN: Contingency Liaison Officer, US Army Garrison- Forest Glen, Armed Forces Pest Management Board, 2460 Linden Lane, Bldg 172, Silver Spring, MD  20910.

Tricare Policy Provides Free Breast Pumps

New Tricare Policy Gives Free Breast Pumps (JUN 2015) External Link Troops and military family members are newly able to receive any manual, electric or hospital grade breast pump for free provided they have a prescription under a new coverage policy issued by Tricare.

The pumps may be purchased at any store. If the beneficiary buys it using their prescription from a pharmacy or other medical service equipment provider, there is no out of pocket cost. If it is purchased at any other kind of retailer, the buyer can submit a reimbursement request to Tricare with their receipt and copy of their prescription.

Any Tricare user who has purchased a breast pump or other supplies covered by the policy after receiving a prescription since December 19, 2014 can submit their receipts and copy of their prescription to Tricare for reimbursement.

Under the new policy, users can receive one hospital grade breast pump, if a doctor believes it to be necessary, and one manual or electric breast pump every time they give birth. The policy also covers pump power adapters, tubing and tubing adaptors, locking rings, bottles, bottle caps, shield or splash protectors, and breast milk storage bags as well as up to two double pumping breast pump kits.  The policy does not cover pump battery packs and accessories, pump bags, cleaning supplies, kits that enable hands-free pumping, ice packs or labeling supplies, nursing bras, pads or shells, nursing lotion or regular baby bottles.

Up to six appointments with a Tricare authorized lactation consultant after the mother leaves the hospital are also covered at no charge, and a referral is not needed, the policy states.

Breastfeeding Resources and Tools

Government

Eat Healthy While Breastfeeding: Quick Tips External Link Breastfeeding has many health benefits for moms and babies.  Breastfeeding will help protect your baby from infection and illness, give you and your baby time to be close and bond and save your family time and money.  Making healthy food choices while you're breastfeeding will help you and your baby get the nutrients you both need.

Breastfeed Your Baby External Link Breastfeeding is very healthy for you and your baby. Experts recommend breastfeeding your baby at least the first 12 months. Breast milk is the only food or liquid your baby needs for the first 6 months. Breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn't mean it is always easy.  You and your baby may need practice and a little help in the beginning but it does get easier with time. 

Nutritional Needs While Breastfeeding External Link  When you are breastfeeding, you have a higher need for some vitamins and minerals.  Following your MyPlate Daily Checklist External Linkwill meet most of these increased needs.       

What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding? External LinkResearch shows that breastfeeding offers many health benefits to infants and mothers, as well as potential economic and environmental benefits for communities.  Among the known health benefits are nutritionally balanced meals, some protection against common childhood infections, and better survival during a baby's first year, including a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome External Link.

The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding Fact Sheet  External Link Outlines the steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by women who want to breastfeed their babies.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Business Case for Breastfeeding External Link A comprehensive program designed to educate employers about the value of supporting breastfeeding employees in the workplace. 

U.S. Army Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Program Information (APHC) The intent of the Army Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Program (P3T) is to implement standardized Army-wide P3T. P3T is aligned with exercise recommendations from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.  Policies released in recent years strengthen the ability for P3T to meet approved Army standards. 

Non-government

The 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding External Link Developed by a team of global experts and consist of evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.  Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing facilities must adhere to the Ten Steps to receive, and retain, a Baby-Friendly designation. 

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots External Link A non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate, inform and support all personnel serving in the military and other non-traditional jobs who wish to breastfeed while serving their country.

Mom-2-Mom Peer Support Breastfeeding Program  

The Mom-2-Mom Peer Support Breastfeeding Program Tool Kit was designed to assist in implementation of a volunteer breastfeeding support program tailored to encourage new mothers to breastfeed during at least the first two months of an infant's life.  This is not a breastfeeding education program but rather a peer support program designed to help new mothers over the initial challenges and anxieties associated with breastfeeding. 

The tool kit includes the core components of the program for successful implementation.  The program materials may need to be adapted to the local installation environment and infrastructure.  The work group that champions the peer support breastfeeding program can identify what local adaptations are necessary and how each adaptation will function within the program.  The materials below are not to be used as a substitute for classroom training by subject matter experts.

Three critical success factors for a peer support breastfeeding program were identified:

  • Command support must be obtained to ensure program success.
  • Communication between program stakeholders is essential.
  • Instruction for program volunteers should include role-play scenarios.

How to use the Mom-2-Mom tool kit

  • Read the Administrative Resource Guide.
  • Provide training to volunteers in a classroom setting by a qualified instructor.  The Volunteer Resource Guide should be used as a template for this training.
  • Market the program to the installation to enlist participants.

Mom-2-Mom Tool Kit

  • Administrative Resource Guide
  • Volunteer Resource Guide
  • Marketing Resource Guide
  • Program Logo 1
  • Program Logo 2
  • New Moms Marketing Brochure 1 (B&W)
  • New Moms Marketing Brochure 2 (color)
  • New Moms Marketing poster
  • Volunteer Recruiting Brochure 1 (B&W)
  • Volunteer Recruiting Brochure 2 (color)
  • Volunteer Recruiting Brochure 3  (text only)
  • Volunteer Recruiting Poster
  • Training Date for Volunteer Poster 1 (B&W)
  • Training Date for Volunteer Poster 2 (color)

   Contact usarmy.apg.medcom-phc.mbx.hpw-webcontacts@mail.mil to request this document