To celebrate this year’s National Breastfeeding Month, Nellis Air Force Base opened two private lactation rooms for nursing mothers.
To improve the quality of life for base members, the chapel and the 99th Medical Group have focused on nursing needs and committed rooms to mothers by providing clean and secure locations.
“We acknowledge the challenges our Airmen face balancing mission accomplishment and quality of life,” said Col. Michael Davis, 99th Air Base Wing vice commander. “Our remarkable Airmen make tremendous personal sacrifices achieving the mission. This facility is an important improvement to the quality of life for our Airmen who are also working mothers.”
Having access to the private lactation rooms provides the nursing women of Nellis with a sense of security and relief.
“It’s important as an Air Force team that we all support each other through unique challenges, even if we don’t personally face those same challenges,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Molly Lawlor, 99th ABW. “We’re very happy to be able to support our Airmen who need a dedicated space to pump during their duty shift.”
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, breastfeeding is important because mother’s breast milk is uniquely suited to meet an infant’s nutritional needs and protects against a host of illnesses and diseases.
“Breastfeeding is a really significant part of bonding with my kids,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Sarah Sampas, 99th ABW. “Being able to maintain my supply while at work is amazing for me and my children. When women don’t pump when they need to, their supply can go down and they won’t be able to give their child the right amount of milk.”
In addition, the lactation rooms at the chapel and medical center offer comfortable seating and a relaxing environment. The chapel lactation room also offers a refrigerator to store breast milk throughout the day.
“Before, [the lactation rooms were available] the most stressful part of my day, every day, was trying to find a place to pump,” said Maj. Raquel Dronenburg, 26th Weapons Squadron MQ-9 weapons instructor pilot. “Having this room is very relieving. It gives myself and other mothers a safe place to go where we have an encouraging community and support from our leadership.”
The lactation rooms are located in the Nellis Chapel Annex and across from the ophthalmology clinic on the first floor of the Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center. For more information on the rooms, call the chapel at 702-652-2950 or the medical center at 702-653-2260.