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Air Force follows Army in approving breastfeeding T-shirts

Airmen are now authorized to purchase and wear a long- or short-sleeved breastfeeding T-shirt with their utility uniform.

ASHLEY MALDONADO-SUAREZ/U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

By SCOTT WYLAND | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 1, 2018

Air Force mothers now may wear T-shirts in uniform that let them more easily breastfeed their babies.

The Air Force changed its dress code in July to allow mothers to wear short- or long-sleeved breastfeeding T-shirts with utility uniforms.

The change, which will be phased in Oct. 1, comes with a few rules. The T-shirt must be sand-colored when worn with the airman battle uniform and tan when worn with a camouflage uniform. Also, mothers cannot remove their uniform blouses while nursing or pumping unless they are in a designated lactation room.

Standard T-shirts expose the torso of women who are nursing infants.

Tech. Sgt. Natalia Wood, a mother of three who’s pregnant with a fourth child, lobbied for the dress code revision so breastfeeding could be more comfortable and less revealing.

“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.”

The Army changed its dress code in April to allow the T-shirts, while the Navy and Marines still don’t authorize them.

wyland.scott@stripes.com
Twitter: @wylandstripes

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