Breastfeeding in Combat Gear Sparks Controversy
Posted by The Baby News
The photo, taken on an Air Force base, shows two radiantly lovely moms in military uniform. Their shirts are hiked up while they breastfeed their babies. Christina Luna cuddles her baby while she feeds her. Terran Echegoyen-McCabe holds her 10-month-old twin girls, each nursing a breast. Photographer Brynja Sigurdardottir snapped the pix for a series of National Breastfeeding Awareness posters.
And the blog wars began! Some blogs scolded the women for disrespecting the uniform. Others feared the female soldiers would be punished by commanding officers. In fact, the Air Force now has a progressive attitude toward soldiers breastfeeding. (BTW, the soldiers in the photo posed on lunch breaks during drills.)
U.S. Navy vet Robyn Roche-Paull's blog Breastfeeding in Combat Boots explains breastfeeding policies for each branch of military service. When Roche-Paull left the Navy 15 years ago, she was reprimanded for nursing in a medical waiting room, she told the Today Show's blogger. In today's Air Force, a private room for nursing is required - and NOT a urinal. Pumping breaks of 15 to 30 minute are authorized every 3 to 4 hours. Active duty females can get a deployment deferment of 6 months to breastfeed. They must continue field training while nursing.
In this week's blog wars, one female military officer wrote a provocative and thoughtful posting. She is against breastfeeding in uniform for ethical reasons. She is concerned about the image her male colleagues would have of her during war. She says she wants them to know they could rely on her to be a kick-ass warrior rather than fret over her as a gentle mom with babe at her breast. If the guys worried about protecting a mommy in their midst, could their lives be at risk?
An equally provocative response was quickly posted: “There is N-O-T-H-I-N-G more authoritative than a strong mother standing tall breastfeeding as she barks orders."
Morgana Echevarria-laucer I'm not against breastfeeding at all especially for military women who cares what they are wearing all I ask is when in public please cover up when you do it my seven year old doesn't need to see your breasts while we walk through the mall. Be tasteful and mindful of others while you do it is not so much to ask for.
Rachael Smith These mommas put their lives on the line so we can have our freedom... I think they should have the freedom to breastfeed in whatever they want to wear and wherever they are when their babies need to eat! Don't like it, don't look!
Jennifer Moore I love this picture. To me it says that they are tough enough and strong enough to serve our country but are still fully capable of providing the best food source and bonding to their children. Kristina said it best. You see more skin when you go to the beach. I have no problem with people breast feeding in public just like I have no problem with people being allowed to wear bikinis, short short, crop tops, etc. I see much more skin and at times much more breast then I've ever seen from a breast feeding mother.
Viviane Gauvin Breastfeed in public all you want but you please cover yourself while you do it? It's just a matter of respect to the people around you
Where do you stand?
3 back to baby