Author Archives: BFinCB

Tips for Successful Pumping During Field Rotation

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots logoI’m an AD Army officer in a Brigade Combat Team. My daughter is 5.5 months old. I just completed day 17 of a 20-day field rotation in which I pumped, stored and sent my breastmilk home. I want to offer some words of encouragement and experience to my fellow military breastfeeding moms.

Needless to say, it was extremely difficult. There were days when I was operating on two hours of sleep. I prioritized pumping over showering, sleeping and sometimes eating. My supply took a hit (35+ oz a day down to 20+) but I knew it would. Some days I was only able to pump two or three times. My goal was to maintain lactation throughout the field rotation exercise. My goal now is to rebuild my supply to what it was (there’s a lot of power pumping in my future).

Here is how I did it:

  • I bought an Rtic cooler. Exactly like a Yeti only significantly cheaper.
  • I notified my BN CDR and CSM of what I was doing. They supported me and worked with me to move my milk home.
  • I told my 1SG and XO of what I was doing so they were tracking.
  • My HQ Soldiers knew and they helped set up a privacy wall in our tent for me to pump behind.
  • I got ice from our field feeding team to resupply my cooler.
  • I bought a water kettle and boiled water to clean/sterilize my pumping parts.
  • I also brought a bottle brush and soap and would use the Medela microwave bags to wash out the parts.
  • I brought as many Medela cleaning wipes as I could buy.
  • I bought pre-made lactation cookies and ate at least one a day. I bought go-Lacta, fenugreek and mothers milk tea to help (hey, couldn’t hurt right?).

field rotation pumping My biggest piece of advice to moms trying to do the same thing is don’t wait for your Commander to make things perfect for you. Take matters into your own hands and do what you have to do. We jumped locations six times during these 20 days. There were times when I pumped in the back of a HMMWV or a cab of an MTV or the middle of a tent that had just gone up (I did refuse to pump in a porta-potty because it was 100+ degrees out). I was walked in on countless times by my Soldiers even though they were told that area was off limits. No matter what branch of the military (Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, Marine or National Guard) or type of military member you are (Officer or Enlisted), I encourage you to be creative and exploit every possible resource. As a company commander, the one resource I did not have was time. I expressed my concern to my Ops CSM prior to coming out here, that operational demands wouldn’t give me any available time to pump, and his advice to me was, “if it’s important enough to you, you will find time or make time.” Those words helped get me through.

It will be hard, but you can do it!

You can find more info on how to prepare for going to the field, as well as how to ship your milk home. Dealing with supply issues after time away from baby? Take a look at this section for tips on increasing your milk supply.  *This post is being shared anonymously at the request of the individual above.**

Have you pumped during a field rotation? Were you successful or not?  Any other suggestions or tips you would give to a new mom?  Leave a comment below!  

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Miss Military Mom Provides Breastfeeding T-Shirts for Moms in Uniform

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Breastfeeding in Combat Boots and Mom2Mom Global are Joining Forces

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots and Mom2Mom Global are Joining Forces

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Pumpin’ Pal Shields are a Pumping Mom’s Best Friend

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Review of Ardo Calypso Breast Pumps – Happy Mothers for Happy Babies

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Lactalite Breast Pump Lights – Light Up Your Pumping Experience

Breastfeeding in the military provides additional challenges for the nursing mother, such as pumping at night, in the middle of a field, or the back of an aircraft. Lactalite, a company founded by an emergency room physician and his wife, recently launched a line of breast pump lights to remedy those types of situations. Lactalite… Continue Reading

SOS – Supporting Our Breastfeeding Military Moms Post-Election

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots (BFinCB) is a non-profit dedicated to Advocating, Informing, and Supporting ALL breastfeeding mothers serving in the military. This is not a political post and BFinCB does not endorse or contribute to any political causes or figures. The recent presidential election has been tough for all, no matter which side of the… Continue Reading

Miss Military Mom Launches T-Shirt Line

Breastfeeding at work provides challenges for every nursing mother, but nursing military moms face additional obstacles with the regulation uniforms required for all active duty personnel.  Miss Military Mom, a company founded by a new mother serving in the US Armed Forces, recently launched a line of breastfeeding T-shirts for nursing mothers in the military… Continue Reading

Normalize Breastfeeding in the Military (Or Why Military Brelfies are Important)

What do you see when you look at this photo of 6 active duty women, representing the Air Force, Army, and Navy, breastfeeding their children on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC? Do you see six mothers who are able to combine the rigors and challenges of serving in the military with… Continue Reading

Our Vision

To create a community where military mothers can share experiences, find information, and offer support in order to successfully breastfeed their babies while serving in the military.

Our Mission

BFinCB is committed to advocating, informing and supporting all breastfeeding personnel serving in the military.

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14103 229th St Ct East.

Graham, WA 98338

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253-904-7734


Disclaimer

This is not an official DOD website. The information and links on the BFinCB website are for educational purposes only. Visitors are encouraged to consult with their health care providers and/or legal to obtain relevant information and discuss their options in order to make safe and informed choices. We welcome all inquiries, but will not suggest any medical or legal course of action. This nonprofit site is funded solely through donations. No advertisements are accepted.