HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --
Nursing mothers here have a new place to go to safely and privately breastfeed or pump breastmilk with the arrival of a lactation pod located inside the Customer Support Center in building 430.
The lactation pod was procured by the 75th Comptroller Squadron upon realizing the needs of its customers and unit personnel.
The pod also meets the intent of an Air Force memo released by the Secretary of the Air Force Manpower and Reserve Affairs, requiring bases to establish private, secure and sanitary lactation rooms for nursing mothers within unit facilities.
The lactation pod will be available the same hours building 430 is open, generally Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is available to all mothers who need it with no time limit, said 2nd Lt. Shane Scantling, 75th CPTS deputy flight commander.
“The intent is to provide a dedicated environment where mothers do not feel rushed,” he said.
The pod’s dimensions are five feet by nine feet with two built-in benches on the inside, each with a wall outlet. It contains ceiling fans and a built in mirror, and the door locks from the inside to ensure privacy with an external indicator showing vacant/in use.
The squadron will also stock cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer inside the pod.
“The benefits go beyond providing a private, secure and sanitary location for nursing mothers,” said Scantling. “We hope this sends a message of inclusion where women are respected and welcomed.”
The pod took two Airmen four hours to assemble and has been available since June 18.
This is the first lactation pod for the base with future plans for two to three additional ones at other locations on base.
“Breastfeeding and pumping is already so stressful for a mother and not knowing where you can go only adds another layer of stress,” said Karin Roberts, 75th CPTS and mother of two. “Having the pod and knowing there will be a comfortable, private space available is one less obstacle to worry about and allows moms to focus on nourishing her bundle of joy.”
The squadron purchased the pod for around $27,000 using squadron innovation funds and the procurement process took around four months.
Senior Airman Brice Larimer, 75th Security Forces Squadron, who works in building 430 and is pregnant with twins said she thinks the new pod is a welcome addition to her workspace.
“I think it’s unique because you don’t see this kind of space anywhere,” she said. “It will be beneficial for moms to go to a private place instead of trying to use a restroom. I think it’s awesome for me personally.”