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Brynja Sigurdardottir
Brynja Sigurdardottir

Military moms breastfeeding in uniform spark controversy Add to ...

In the latest shock and awe over when and where and how moms should be nursing their babies, a campaign promoting breastfeeding for military women has – you guessed it – “sparked” yet more “outrage.”

The photo in question is part of an awareness campaign started by a well-meaning military spouse at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Wash., who runs a support group for young moms.

But as Shine Yahoo reports, a fair share of consternation has been expressed for the photos used. Two moms sit happily nursing their babies (not three-year-olds, we’ll point out, and the photos aren’t “posed”), and one of them is nursing two 10-month-old twin simultaneously. The issue is that they are both in uniform.

“I have breastfed in our lobby, in my car, in the park … and I pump, usually in the locker room,” Terran Echegoyen-McCabe, who is a member of the Air National Guard, told the Today show, saying she was surprised by the controversy. “I’m proud to be wearing a uniform while breastfeeding. I’m proud of the photo and I hope it encourages other women to know they can breastfeed whether they’re active duty, guard or civilian.”

The moms in the campaign have suggested that the issue may have more to do with the notion that people have a hard time seeing moms as soldiers. (And, really, are they expecting moms to get changed into civilian clothes every time they need to nurse?) At the same time, the Yahoo article points out that the military may get a little squeamish about the whole idea, especially since there weren’t even combat uniforms for women until 2010. There’s a website called Military Spouse Central that cautions against certain actions in uniform, and that list is pretty all-inclusive: holding hands in public, eating, drinking or talking on a cellphone while walking, carrying an umbrella that’s not black. The policy, however, is apparently silent on breastfeeding.

What do you think of the campaign? Is there anything wrong with moms breastfeeding while in uniform?

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