Air Force, Army Approve Breastfeeding T-shirts
Back in April, the U.S. Army authorized female soldiers to wear an optional T-shirt for postpartum nursing. The T-shirts were manufactured by Miss Military Mom, and they were available in short-sleeve and long-sleeve options. The shirts are divided into two sections, making it easier for women to breastfeed with optimum levels of privacy. Now, according to Stars and Stripes, the Air Force just approved a similar order.
The Air Force's recent change will go into effect Oct. 1 with a few restrictions. The T-shirts must be sand-colored when worn with the airman battle uniform, and they must be tan when worn with the camouflage uniform. Mothers who wish to remove the uniforms to nurse or pump must be in a designated lactation room.
— Bob Reid (@rhreid) August 1, 2018
According to Stars and Stripes, it was Tech. Sgt. Natalia Wood who was truly at the helm of this push. Standard T-shirts provided no privacy to nursing mothers, as they left the wearer's torso exposed. Wood lobbied for the new T-shirts so that breastfeeding mothers would be more comfortable with less revealing options.
“I’m trying to normalize breastfeeding, not for me, but for all future generations,” Wood said in a statement. “I was thinking more about everyone behind me. I just feel like we are the leader in securing our skies, but when it comes to this, we’re lagging behind.”
As of now, the Navy and the Marines have not yet approved a similar order, but with both the Air Force and Army on board, maybe this will soon become a unified shift.
While it might be a while before this type of T-shirt catches on in the promotional world, it's not such a far-fetched idea. New moms who need to return to work have very limited resources in the workplace and with their work uniforms, and it would be a welcome change for women who are nursing.