When the going gets tough, the tough get creative
DIY lactation room, military-mom style!
Military moms face a unique set of challenges while breastfeeding and serving our country. Lack of support, geographical separations, and inflexible schedules can make it difficult for them to meet their breastfeeding goals. Trouble finding a comfortable place to pump can add to that struggle out in the field or in unfamiliar settings.
As more and more women choose this field of work, that means change. That means new needs as well. I ran with it!
What Amber accomplished
How she and her team got there
Step one was cleaning out the room to create a blank canvas. Then it was time to go to town finding and adding what the room needed, and finishing it with just the right touches.
I went to so many different stores to find little accessories to make the room that much more special. Because they deserve it.
And here it is! We debuted the New Mothers Room during the Week of the Warrior. And I was honored to be a part of it and show it off to as many people as who wanted to come through! Lieutenant Biggs came to check out the finished room and was so pleased.
Check out the debut when Amber showed everyone all the little things she had added for the ladies.
Here's Amber’s amazing testimony her inspiration for this project, and what it means to all of the moms in the 65th Engineering Battalion:
Hundreds of moms—doctors, nurses, soldiers, teachers, postal workers, EMTs, and so many others—have relied on Ceres Chill to get them through the hard days of a breastfeeding journey. It’s the first ever grab-and-go breastmilk chiller. Finally, moms are free of clunky coolers, ice packs, and mountains of disposable plastic.
The Mothers Room was such a fun and delightful experience for me to do. My husband actually came to me one morning before work and asked if I was interested in taking on a task for his battalion. I’ve done quite a bit of volunteer projects, both big and small, for his job. He is a military member by career, but it’s more of a lifestyle while we are living it, so I absolutely love being included in his work atmosphere and helping out whenever I can. It was just perfect for me. My husband, Sergeant First Class Haines, is in Headquarters and Headquarters Company for work right now, and is with Lieutenant Colonel Biggs, the current battalion commander. Lieutenant Colonel Biggs had the idea to bring in a breastfeeding room to make the nursing mothers more comfortable at work.
I was just so excited to help our soldier moms nourish their babies comfortably. If I could help it, I damn sure would! I wanted to do everything I could for these ladies and help them transition back to work from their maternity leave and have the ability to continue their breastfeeding journey comfortably. I wanted to be able to give these amazing soldiers privacy to feed their babies on their lunch breaks if a caregiver brought the child by for 30 minutes. I fully believe we should include family just as much as possible, as does my husband's company.
I've set up a fridge to hold and store breast milk for the mothers as they work throughout the day. They don’t have to worry about it being spoiled by the end of the day. There are bins in the room for the moms to store their own equipment instead of having to lug it back and forth all day. A couch to relax. Also an ottoman to rock if wanted to mimic either feeding or pumping at home.
And you guys at Ceres Chill were truly just awesome really. I am just so grateful and especially happy for the women who got these goodies! Maybe even just a bit jealous! Haha! These chillers are to die for and if, for whatever reason, there are other plans down the road for me, these are so on my list! Pump right into a bottle that will keep your milk good even if you leave it in the car after a girls' night or when you get home at midnight and forget about it until the next morning after you’ve had your coffee...and it HASN'T GONE BAD, so you don’t end up crying... because that’s literally gold...not that I’ve been through all of that or anything (ha)...so yes. These are just phenomenal. The convenience of road trips, between hotels, long days at the range, and even staff duty and overnight duty, these chillers can be used!
I wanted them to have a comfy space. We looked at a couple of rooms and got such an amazing one with a window. So yes, I am damn proud of this little room I’ve made for these heroes who are fighting the obstacles through their breastfeeding journeys as well as serving our country.