A new policy at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho issued April 16 that was rescinded today after coming under heavy fire said that moms on base -- unless they are on duty service members or employees protected by labor laws -- had to use a private room to nurse, cover up while feeding or be asked to leave.
The commander who issued the policy, Col. David Iverson, said he didn't mean to offend anyone.
"I better understand the concerns regarding breastfeeding in public and am sorry individuals were offended. The policy was not intended to ostracize anyone and I regret it had that effect. I will revoke this policy while we look for a better way to accommodate and be respectful of all individuals in our community," he said in a statement.
Nonetheless, people were offended. Breastfeeding advocates and female service members told me they believe feeding their child in public is a right protected by federal law. And although base commanders generally have the authority to overrule such laws, they said they had no intention of obeying the directive.
This isn't the first time breastfeeding on base has become a controversy. A spouse in Hawaii was asked to leave the commissary in 2013 after breastfeeding publicly. And according to some sources other bases have rules similar to the one rescinded at Mountain Home, although I couldn't confirm that.
But this most recent attempt at placing restrictions on public breastfeeding on base does raise the question about what should and shouldn't be required of moms feeding in public. So tell us what you think in our poll.
Photo courtesy of Breastfeeding in Combat Boots