Working mothers have to juggle a lot, but some of the most frustrating challenges for women who breastfeed their babies pop up when they have to find time and space to pump while at work. One veteran named Ruby told CNN that while she was in the Air Force from 1997 to 2001, she had to settle for whatever empty space she could find.
Today, Fort Bliss, in El Paso, TX, has a well-equipped room dedicated to nursing soldiers, and Ruby decided to donate artwork to make it more welcoming. Her concept was simple but brilliant: military women breastfeeding in uniform. After some coordination with Fort Bliss' public-affairs office, 10 women showed up with their babies.
The final result perfectly illustrates why it's so important to support parents with the resources they need; women who don't have to struggle to do simple, essential tasks like pumping breast milk have more time and energy to do their jobs effectively. Everyone worries about this balance, but it's especially important to provide help for the people who volunteer to keep national security.
Today I believe we made history. To my knowledge a group photo to show support of active duty military mommies nursing their little's has never been done. It is so nice to see support for this here at Fort Bliss. Through the guidance of my military friends, the Fort Bliss P3T Program and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, our Garrison command and our Public Affairs, we were able to show that even our mommies in uniform can provide for their babies. I was active duty a long time ago when support for breastfeeding moms wasn't even an option or a consideration. We have come so far. Breastfeeding their babies doesn't make them less of a soldier, I believe it makes them a better one. Juggling the tasks and expectations of a soldier, plus providing for their own in the best way they possibly can, makes these ladies even stronger for it. I want to say Thank You to everyone that saw my vision, and helped us in succeeding in making it come true. I am 100% for #normalizebreastfeeding. How about you? www.tararuby.com #tararubyphotography #elpaso #elpasophotographer #fortbliss #fortblissphotographer #breastfeeding #activeduty #armylife #armyfamily #army #armystrong #hooah #breastfeedingincombatboots #breastfeedingworld #pioneers #military #militarylife #armybrats #blmommymagazine #blmommy #bumpsociety
The branches of the armed forces have made changes to their maternity-leave policies to give mothers more flexibility during a child's first year. The Army is currently reviewing its policy, and the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have already expanded their rules for new mothers. The moves are aimed at retaining more highly trained and qualified women after they decide to have children.
"I was active duty a long time ago when support for breastfeeding moms wasn't even an option or a consideration," Ruby wrote in an Instagram post. "We have come so far. Breastfeeding their babies doesn't make them less of a soldier; I believe it makes them a better one."