Breastfeeding moms in military uniforms reprimanded (+video)
The Washington National Guard said the photo of two military moms breastfeeding their children was a violation of a regulation that forbids using the uniform to promote a cause.
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The photos were taken and posted on the Internet by a group on base called Mom 2 Mom. The goal was to promote National Breastfeeding Awareness Week in August. They immediately prompted a debate in the comment sections of Spokane TV stations about breastfeeding in public in uniform.
Terran Echegoyen-McCabe, a member of the Air National Guard, was photographed in uniform nursing her 10-month-old twin daughters. Sitting next to her, also nursing, is Christina Luna. Both Luna and Echegoyen-McCabe live and work at the Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane.
A spokesman for the Washington National Guard at Camp Murray, Capt. Keith Kosik, says it's a violation of regulations to use the uniform to promote a cause. And a Fairchild spokesman, Maj. Randy Bailey, says there's no issue with moms in the military breastfeeding, but campaigning in uniform is not allowed.
"The U.S. Air Force is supportive of our breastfeeding mothers and installations are continuously adapting to meet the needs of working mothers to offer suitable areas for their parenting needs," Air Force spokesperson Captain Rose Richeson told Yahoo! Shine in an email. "The Air Force has standing instructions enabling mothers to feed their children, particularly when they transition back to work following maternity leave." That includes allowing them to pump during the day, and providing private areas for breastfeeding in the Child Development Centers, she said, including the one at Fairchild Air Force Base.
This case follows the provocative and controversial photo of a mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old son on the cover of Time magazine earlier this month.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.