This article discusses how a small investment to support breastfeeding among active-duty women could help the U.S. armed forces retain valued servicewomen after childbirth.
Human milk saves lives, reduces health care costs, and improves the health of both mother and infant. For a small investment to support breastfeeding among active-duty women, the payoff for the U.S. military would be significant: retention of loyal and welltrained service personnel, improved health of women, and a reduction in Tricare costs. Providing breastfeeding support can help the U.S. armed forces retain valued servicewomen after childbirth. A model policy to support breastfeeding women would include on-site lactation support services and peer support, suitable areas available for milk expression and storage, reasonable break time, and a leave policy that incentivizes breastfeeding.
Drake, E., Cadwell, K., Dodgson, J.E., 2017. Call for improved military policy to support breastfeeding among U.S. Armed Forces. Nursing Outlook, 65(3), pp.343-345.