HomeNewsArticle Display

Mobile lactation pods provide secure location for nursing mothers to breastfeed/pump

Mobile lactation pods provide secure location for nursing mothers to breastfeed/pump

A red indicator above the door handle indicates somebody is using the Mamava Lactation Pod at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 17, 2020. The pod is equipped with a table, two built-in benches, an external numeric keypad lock, internal deadbolt with external indicator showing “vacant/in use” and much more. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

Mobile lactation pods provide secure location for nursing mothers to breastfeed/pump

A red indicator above the door handle indicates somebody is using the Mamava Lactation Pod at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Nov. 17, 2020. All Airmen, including civilian employees, who are nursing mothers are permitted to use the lactation pods. These resources enable each unit to meet mission requirements while taking care of Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) --

One of three mobile lactation pods arrived at Luke Air Force Base Nov. 12, to provide a private room equipped with the resources needed for women to safely breastfeed and pump breast milk regardless of the work location.

The Air Force released an Air Force Guidance Memorandum that requires bases to establish lactation rooms for nursing mothers within unit facilities. The memo identified the requirements for the lactation pods, such as having a private, secure and sanitary area.

The results of a base-wide survey distributed in 2017 determined a need for lactation rooms, said Sharon Kozak, 56th Fighter Wing Community Action Team executive director. Beforehand, women were often using public restrooms to pump or their spouse or child’s caretaker would bring their child to the workplace to feed, with little to no convenient options for privacy.

Luke AFB responded to the Airmen’s needs by implementing several lactation rooms in 2019 at the Child Development Center, 56th Medical Group Pediatric Clinic, 56th Fighter Wing Safety Building, 944th FW building 334 and hangar 999.

“I think that having a safe, clean, private place to pump, whether it be a lactation pod or lactation space (office or room with a locking door), helps allow working mothers to be significantly more productive,” said Maj. Valerie Wetzbarger, 62nd Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations. “There are studies that show breast milk delays and prevents illness for babies, which allows the mother to take less days/time off to be at home with a sick child. We’ve had mothers wean their children off breast milk before they were ready because they didn’t feel they had a space to pump.”

Although the lactation rooms are convenient, lactation pods are necessary as well, explained Kozak. Most lactation rooms are in locations that are only available during daytime operating hours; Airmen who work after daytime duty hours need other solutions, she said. The lactation pods are open 24/7 for use and can be moved to locations they’re needed in the future.

“We probably won't get pods for every building,” Wetzbarger said. “But that doesn't mean that people shouldn't be thinking about and designating a lactation space for their Airmen who may be expecting or nursing.”
|
The lactation pods are equipped with a table, two built-in benches, an external numeric keypad lock, internal deadbolt with external indicator showing “vacant/in use” and more.

“The pods can be put outside the building or inside the building,” Kozak said. “The lactation pods are very sterile. All you need is to just plug them in, and they're mobile. It’s not like a room over in the corner. It's an actual pod.”

All Airmen, including civilian employees, who are nursing mothers are permitted to use the lactation pods. These resources enable each unit to meet mission requirements while taking care of Airmen.

“The pods provide a way for mothers to continue to be the best mom they can be while still being able to do the mission,” said Maj. Jessa Charron, 69th FS ADO and mother of four. “If you have a place to pump and you can get it done quickly and you have all the tools and the resources available, it makes you more effective at getting your actual job done.”

According to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, breast milk provides all the energy and nutrients that an infant needs for the first months of life and continues to provide up to one-third of a child’s nutritional needs up to two years of life.

Wetzbarger explained that the pods help advance diversity and inclusion by bringing awareness that breastfeeding is a natural process.

“These natural things that happen need to evolve within our community, and not as an afterthought,” Wetzbarger said. “So having things like lactation pods or lactation spaces for (all) Airmen allows us to be on par with other civilian organizations. It doesn't feel like it's exclusive to a certain rank.”

Kozak explained that implementing these much-needed resources was no easy task, and she can’t wait to see the outcome of the work everyone has accomplished.

“I think it's extremely important, especially with how many of these young Airmen are single women with children who have enough stress in their lives,” Kozak said. “This is something that's very natural and only benefits the mother and the child through bonding and nurturing. The benefits are overwhelming. Kudos to everyone for not giving up on this.”

For more information on the policies and procedures of breastfeeding and breast pumping, read Air Force Instruction 44-102, Medical Care Management, paragraph 4.15.

Engage

Twitter
RT @usabmc: Yesterday @SecAFOfficial Barbara M. Barrett, @HQUSAFEAFAF Commander Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, and U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia,…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: The #Airmen of the 100th ARW know what it means to #accelerate in all opportunities. #Bestof2020AF @HQUSAFEAFAF Click h…
Twitter
Safety first The Human Factors Division at the #AirForce Safety Center is providing a safety culture survey, allow… https://t.co/P0i6kHxfph
Twitter
RT @USAFHealth: Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination this morning. Prioritized DoD personnel a…
Twitter
Building the force of the future. @TeamTyndall received the #AirForce’s 1st Mobile Vehicle Access Control Inspecti… https://t.co/WdhB552Zji
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Self-care is not selfish. It’s a necessity. Have a fantastic Wednesday! Take care of you, so you can take care of th…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: The #Airmen of the 621st CRW never hesitate to respond at a moment’s notice. 2020 was no exception. #Bestof2020AF @AirMob
Twitter
RT @RamsteinAirBase: 👏💪The vaccinations have officially started! 💪👏 First responders and select medical personnel from the 86 AW received…
Twitter
The Special Victims' Counsel is there to help The SVC is there to help survivors of sexual assault, sexual harassm… https://t.co/wfLcxUTYDW
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Celebrated #Niger’s C-130 delivered for service while meeting with military leaders in #Africa yesterday! Interoperabili…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Wyvern Nation #Airmen continue to excel through the biggest challenges 2020 handed them. #Bestof2020AF @HQUSAFEAFAF @AirA
Twitter
The Department of the #AirForce has directed commanders to conduct a comprehensive review of unit emblems, patches,… https://t.co/vVLqYiR3B9
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Airmen of the 165th ASOS, @165thAW, participated in casualty evacuation training with Marines assigned to VMM-261, @2nd_M
Twitter
Give @GenCQBrownJr a follow for the latest on how he's leading the charge to accelerate change throughout the… https://t.co/oA4pxZz0C7
Twitter
Airmen from the Sri Lanka Air Force engaged w/@PACAF Airmen during the 1st virtual & 4th annual Airmen-to-Airmen Ta… https://t.co/fZfRlocNcG
Twitter
Fill up and back to business. Aircraft are refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker in the @CENTCOM area of responsibilit… https://t.co/AsgUPsYMzH
Twitter
Crash & recovery training #Airmen assigned to the 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron use a wire cable sling durin… https://t.co/9HYtn7ZcAl
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: As an introvert, I have to build in time to recharge during the day. I encourage our @USAirForce leaders to learn their o…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thanks to the motivated #StrikerAirmen of @AFGlobalStrike, the nuclear mission never stops. #Bestof2020AF https://t.co…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,341,799
Follow Us