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Keywords:

  • breastfeeding;
  • deployment;
  • military;
  • policy

Abstract

Thousands of women of childbearing age are serving and being deployed in the United States military. U.S. Department of Defense policies related to breastfeeding and deployment are inconsistent among the different branches of the military and sometimes conflict with evidence-based guidelines about optimal breastfeeding practices. This is the story of an active duty soldier who was deployed while breastfeeding and the obstacles she encountered trying to send breast milk home to her son. The article explores policy, health and professional practice implications.