The 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base has opened a new lactation room in collaboration with Arkansas Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity, Healthy Active Arkansas, the Arkansas Breastfeeding Coalition and the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists.
Arkansas law protects a woman’s right to breastfeed a child in a public place and requires employers to provide reasonable unpaid break time to employees who need to express or pump breast milk. Lactation rooms like the one unveiled at LRAFB support service members and civilian support staff by providing a comfortable environment to breastfeed or pump.
"ADH is excited to continue our partnership to support military moms and families, which began last year with the March of Dimes as we helped to host the state’s first Mission: Healthy Baby shower," Michelle Smith, PhD, director of the ADH Office of Health Equity, said in a news release. "This new collaboration with Healthy Active Arkansas is a great opportunity to introduce a segment of the Arkansas community to the work this initiative is doing to promote breastfeeding across the state."
The lactation room, located at the 189th Medical Group (MDG) clinic in building 101 at the base, contains a sink, a door that locks, literature on breastfeeding and a refrigerator to store expressed milk. A grand opening was held on Tuesday.
Breastfeeding creates a special bond and provides health benefits to both mothers and babies. Breastfeeding reduces the risk for certain allergies and asthma for babies as well as type 2 diabetes for mothers. For more about the benefits of breastfeeding, go to: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/breastfeeding-information-and-support