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Breastfeeding while serving in the Military? Have questions?  

Check out our FREE printable downloads and Military Policies below. 


Breastfeeding in Combat Boots FAQ Info Sheets

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Please note: this section is under construction, so check back for more information!

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Military Policies

Family Care Plan

DODI 1342.19

Military Equal Opportunity Program

DODI 1350.02

Parental Leave

DODI 1327.06

Maternity Uniform Chart

Joint Chiefs of Staff Definition of Deployment

Applicable to all service branches.  

Family Care Plan requirements.

Servicemembers who give birth to or adopt a child are granted a 4-month deferment from duty away from home station.  DODI 1342.19

DoD Military Equal Opportunity Program

The DoD, through the DoD MEO Program, will:

(1) Ensure that Service members are treated with dignity and respect and are afforded equal opportunity in an environment free from prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, or sexual orientation.  DODI 1350.02

Military Parental Leave Program

Establishes and defines 3 types of parental leave: Maternity Convalescent Leave, Primary Caregiver Leave, Secondary Caregiver Leave.  DODI 1327.06

Maternity Uniform Chart 

Summary of existing allowances for maternity uniforms, not all uniform pieces will be available in all locations.

JCS Definition of Deployment: Combat operations or training exercises 

a. Deployment: the movement of forces into and out of an operational area. See also deployment order.

1) Deployment order: a directive for the deployment of forces for operations or exercises.

2) Operation: 1. a sequence of tactical actions with a common purpose or unifying theme. (JP 1) 2. A military action or the carrying out of a strategic, operational, tactical, service, training, or administrative military mission.


Air Force

Parental Leave

AFI 36-3003


AFI 44-102, 4.15

Lactation Space

AFGM 2020-36-01


Postpartum Fitness

AFGM for

AFI 36-2110

Breastfeeding Uniform

AFI 36-2903,

Human Milk Storage

AFGM 2020-36-1

Maternity Convalescent Leave: 42 days

Primary Caregiver Leave: 42 days

Secondary Caregiver Leave: 21 days  

AFI 36-3003

Supervisors should work with their personnel to allow 15-30 minute breaks every 3-4 hours for pumping.  Specifies that a lactation space must provide adequate privacy and cleanliness and may not be a restroom.  AF personnel must provide equipment needed to pump and store milk.  AFI 44-102, 4.15

Commanders are required to establish lactation spaces for all servicemembers and civilians in all facilities which fall under the commander's control.  Spaces must be lockable, clean, not a latrine or locker room, and in close proximity to both location of workspace and hot and cold running water.  Spaces must provide multiple electric outlets for pumps, and be available in all areas to lactating servicemembers and civilians.  AFGM 2020-36-01

AF personnel are deferred from PCS, TDY, deployment and fitness assessments for 12 months postpartum.  AFGM for AFI 36-2110

Airmen are authorized to purchase and wear a long or short sleeve breastfeeding t- shirt with their utility uniform. The T-shirt will be sand in color when worn with the ABU and Tan or Coyote Brown in color when worn with the OCP.

The breastfeeding t-shirt will be tucked in unless worn with the maternity uniform. The ABU or OCP coat may be removed in immediate work area as determined appropriate by local leadership, however, the ABU or OCP coat will be worn while interacting with customers/clients. [NOTE: during flight operations t-shirts must be cotton or fire retardant material due to added protection. T-shirts made of 100% nylon or polyester are not authorized during flight.] AFI 36-2903_AFGM2019-01,

3.2.4. Recommended locations to store expressed breast milk include, such as but not limited to, lactation room refrigerators, lodging refrigerators, schoolhouse refrigerators, field kitchens, etc. (T-1). Local dining facilities generally are not the preferred storage location; however, they are not excluded as a potential local storage location. Installations must assess the readiness of the dining facility to store expressed breast milk. (T-1). If no other installation storage facility capabilities are available, installations should be prepared to allow access to local dining facilities.  AFGM 2020-36-1


Parental Leave

AD 2019-05



AR 600-20

AD 2015-43



AR 614-30

AR 40-501

ALARACT 016/2020

AR 525-93



MILPER 20-394

Breastfeeding Uniform


AR 670-1 3-6c


Human Milk Storage

TB MED 530 Waiver

OTSG/MEDCOM Policy Memo 16-005


Sample BF Memo

Ft. Bliss Model BF Policy

PHC Links Resources

CYS Infant Feeding

Maternity Convalescent Leave: 12 weeks

Primary Caregiver Leave: 12 weeks

Secondary Caregiver Leave: 3 weeks

AD 2019-05

Army personnel should work with their commanders to develop a breastfeeding plan upon return to duty.  Recommended commanders provide 15-30 minute breaks 2-3 times per day, but individual needs of the parent, child, and unit must be considered.  Lactation space with access to safe water, electricity, a flat surface, and a locking door must be available, and may not be a restroom.  Soldiers must provide their own equipment for pumping and storing milk.  Commanders must provide a place to pump during field training and mobility exercises.  AR 600-20

Soldiers are deferred from deployment for 12 months postpartum.

Pregnancy and postpartum profile for APFT standards.  Soldiers are deferred from APFT for 6 months postpartum.  AR 614-30  AR 40-501 ALARACT 016/2020

UPDATED July 2020: Deployment defined per Joint Chiefs of Staff to include mobilization for operational or training exercises. See MFR  AR 525-93

UPDATED June 2020: APFT and ACFT Suspended during COVID-19. HQDA EXORD 164-20 (FRAGO 1)  


c. A passing score on the last record APFT remains valid until 31 March 2022 for any purpose requiring a passing APFT or score, including, but not limited to, professional military education, functional courses, or operational course credit consideration.

d. Administrative changes. No adverse administrative actions (such as flags, separation, denial of appointmenUcommissioning, derogatory/referred evaluation reports, and Order of Merit List Standings) will be taken against a Soldier based on failing the ACFT until further guidance is published by the ASA (M&RA). A Soldier's score, or comments regarding performance on the ACFT, will not be used administratively (such as the Officer or Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Reports, Academic Evaluation Report, Enlisted Record Brief, Soldier Record Brief, or Officer Record Brief) or considered as part of a semi-centralized or centralized promotion board process until further guidance is published by the ASA (M&RA).

4. Temporary promotions (reference A, paragraph 1-36) are authorized for Soldiers who are prevented from completing mandatory professional military education (PME) courses to qualify themselves for promotion to the ranks of Sergeant (SGT) through Sergeant Major (SGM) when they are unable to attend PME for any of the following:

b. While serving on a temporary profile due to pregnancy or postpartum.  Link on HRC.Army.mil accessible only with CAC card.  MILPER Message Number 20-394

Soldiers are authorized to wear breastfeeding t-shirts with Class C utility uniform. DAPE-ZA

Additional policy. Soldiers who are breastfeeding/pumping are authorized to wear an optional t-shirt specifically for that purpose (see DA Pam 670 - 1). Soldiers who are actively breastfeeding their child are authorized to unzip or remove the ACU coat. Soldiers who are wearing the Army service uniform (ASU), Army green service uniform (AGSU), or mess uniform, are authorized to remove the coat and unbutton the shirt as necessary to permit breastfeeding. In accordance with 41 CFR 102 - 74.426, on Federal property, a Soldier is authorized to breastfeed anywhere the Soldier and child is otherwise authorized to be. Breastfeeding Soldiers are not required to use any additional items to cover themselves or their child while breastfeeding.  AR 670-1

Human milk may be stored in Army facility food cold storage, such as DFAC refrigerators.  TB MED 530 Waiver  (CAC Login required)


Comprehensive guidance for Army MTFs on providing early postpartum and workplace lactation support for patients and staff. (Requires CAC sign-in to view) 

OTSG/MEDCOM Policy Memo 16-005


Sample commanders memo establishing breastfeeding plan on return to duty.


Model installation breastfeeding policy, on which the Revised Army Policy was based.


Public Health Command's resource page with approved links to policies, regulations, and information. Links may be restricted access or require CAC sign-in to view.

Regulation for Child and Youth Services infant feeding used in Child Development Centers and Family Child Care.  States that any unused human milk may be returned to parents, and that no doctor note is required to continue to provide human milk after one year.

Maternity Convalescent Leave: 42 days

Primary Caregiver Leave: 42 days

Secondary Caregiver Leave: 21 days   ACN 062/18

Temporary Separation for Care of Newborn Children allows servicemembers to take a one-time, 2-year voluntary separation from active duty to care for a newborn child, with return to same pay grade and benefits.  COMDTINST 1000.9

When possible, Commanding Officers/Officers in Charge will ensure use of a private, clean room for expressing breast milk during the workday. COMDTINST 1000.9

USCG supervisor guidance for civilian employees.  ALCOAST 189/11

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) reimbursement program for the shipment of breast milk​. ALCOAST 215/19


USCG personnel are exempt from weight and body fat standards during pregnancy and if breastfeeding for 12 months postpartum.  COMDTINST M1020.8 (series), 5.B.

USCG personnel are deferred from deployment for 6 months postpartum.  

COMDTINST M1000.8A, 2.A.2.i.

Breast Milk Shipment (BMS)-program sponsored by CGMA. The Breast Milk Shipment (BMS) Expense reimbursement program is available to the following members of Team Coast Guard:

  • Active Duty, all grades, to include PHS Officers and Chaplains attached to the CG.

  • Reservists, all grades, on ADOS.

  • Spouses of Active Duty and Reservists on ADOS. Spouses must verify that they shipped the milk while traveling on business for their job.

  • CG Civilian Employees.

Coast Guard

Parental Leave




MCO 5000.12F




Maternity Convalescent Leave: 42 days

Primary Caregiver Leave: 42 days automatically assigned to birthparent following MCL, unless Marine requests SCL

Secondary Caregiver Leave: 14 days

Non-birthparent may be designated PCL if justified to command, such as in cases where birth parent is unable to care for the newborn.  Specifies that convalescent leave will be given in cases of stillbirth/miscarriage.  MARADMIN 331/18  MARADMIN 570/18

Marines should work with their commanders to determine pump breaks based on the needs of the parent, child, and workspace.  Lactation space with access to safe water and a locking door must be available, and may not be a restroom. Breastmilk may be stored in communal refrigerators.  Lactating Marines are exempt from potential HAZMAT exposure duties for 12 months postpartum.  Breastfeeding policies must prohibit discrimination and harassment of breastfeeding Marines.  MCO 5000.12F   PDF

Marines are deferred from deployment for 6 months postpartum, but may request to deploy earlier.  MARADMIN 358/07

Marines are deferred from physical fitness and body composition standards for 12 months postpartum.  MARADMIN 066/21

Marine Corps


Parental Leave




Breastfeeding Uniform


Human Milk Storage

NAVSUP P-486 Vol I Revision p.5-51,5-52






Maternity Convalescent Leave: 42 days

Primary Caregiver Leave: 42 days

Secondary Caregiver Leave: 14 days

Excludes birthparents who do not retain custody of their children, but does allow for regular convalescent leave.

Requires deferment of PCL/SCL for servicemembers who are deployed or within 3 months of deployment.  NAVADMIN 151/18

Commanders required to develop a command breastfeeding policy, provide private clean room, not a restroom, with access to running water and refrigeration for storage of breastmilk.  Requests to breastfeed infants during duty hours to be handled on case-by-case basis.  OPNAVINST 6000.1D

Sailors are authorized to wear long or short sleeve breastfeeding t-shirts with Service Uniform, NWU Type I, II, and III,  and Flight Suits.  NAVADMIN 075/19

Each Command must have a policy for supporting breastfeeding by Service Members as directed in BUMEDINST 6000.14A as a normal and healthy behavior. Because breast milk never is treated as a biohazard, the need to store breast milk with medical supplies is not required; although this may be considered as the first option in storing breast milk for a Service Member. When refrigerated units in a medical storage area are unavailable, there breast milk may be stored in food service refrigerated units and/or spaces.  NAVSUP P-486 Vol I Revision p 5-51,5-52

Comprehensive guidance for Naval MTFs on providing workplace lactation support for all USN personnel, including hazardous material exposures, providing designated lactation spaces, and working with child development centers in all Naval workspaces.   BUMEDINST 6000.14A

Servicemembers are nondeployable from 20th week of pregnancy through 12 months postpartum, to include any assignment that separates the birthparent from the infant for more than a normal workday.   OPNAVINST 6000.1D

Pregnancy Status [for purposes of Physical Fitness Assessment] is defined from the time pregnancy is confirmed by a military health care provider (HCP) or civilian HCP in cases of inaccessibility to an MTF, until the end of the 6 months following convalescent leave (postpartum)  OPNAVINST 6110.1J