May is Military appreciation month. To celebrate all our hard-working military members and family I wanted to talk to some badass active duty mama's and some amazing army wives.
Today we are talking to active duty Navy mama Samantha. She took some time to sit down and tell us what it is like to service and breastfeed.
Do you find being active duty effects your breastfeeding relationship?
Yes and No.
I had to come to realize that EBF doesn’t mean just nursing it’s also from pumping and giving breast milk in a bottle. I find it very hard when you get wrapped in something that your doing or other people are using the room you need to pump in. I always feel awkward asking them to get out of the office, so I can pump. Sometimes pumping in the bathroom is easier and comfortable for me but then I realize if I keep pumping in the bathroom and not asking for the office. Then next pumping mom will have the same problem and won’t be able pump in the office. It’s a battle I must stand up for and make sure the next mother has an easier time with it.
Elijah and I have been breastfeeding for almost 6 months and I don’t see us stopping any time soon either. ️
How does your husband being station away from home effect your choices as a mom?
It’s hard. We have never talked about how we would raise our kids. We weren’t planning on having kids anytime soon. Our son was a surprise, and everything happened quickly.
I know he trusts me to raise Elijah. Of course, I will tell him my decisions about what happens to Elijah. Communication is key in a relationship especially a long-distance relationship.
Do you feel supported while at work?
I remember being so nervous going back to work. I heard horror stories of women not having the support of their command. Some women pumping in their cars or in broom closets. When I first walked into the office my first question was where can I pump? I had to mentally prepare myself.
They gave me the main office. As I was sitting there trying to pump, coworkers kept constantly knocking on my door, asking for papers, asking what I was doing. I felt so pressured to hurry up. I wasn’t having a letdown and I wasn’t outputting anything. Finally, I gave up and packed up my things. I was talking to a fellow coworker about what had happened. His wife also breastfed so he understood the struggle to relax and feel comfortable. He made me a sign. It said, ‘Do Not Disturb Pumping in Progress’. He put in a plastic sleeve and handed it to me.
I felt so touched. The next time I pumped I hung up my sign and no one disturbed me.
All in all, I am very fortunate to have people where I work to be supportive for the most part. Not everyone is happy I pump but I can’t please everyone.
Thanks for all you do for our country! Keep on rocking it Samantha! Show your love for this Navy mama by commenting below.
It is so very encouraging to read how supportive your male military coworker was/is. We all need allies! I hope you are able to continue breastfeeding as long as you and Elijah want. It seems like you are off to a great start!