Providing Support for New Mothers

Second Lieutenant Kayla Bellona, 27 Special Operations Wing Public Affairs officer, stands in the newly opened Mother's Room at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., June 14, 2018. The room was opened to provide mothers with a quiet place to breastfeed their children.

Second Lieutenant Kayla Bellona, 27 Special Operations Wing Public Affairs officer, stands in the newly opened Mother's Room at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., June 14, 2018. The room was opened to provide mothers with a quiet place to breastfeed their children.

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Cannon Air Force Base opened a private area in building 600, room 2061, for breastfeeding mothers to nurse children or pump in comfort.

The Mothers’ Room provides a quiet and safe place for breastfeeding mothers to take care of their children, no longer having to find alternatives such as sitting in bathrooms or in their cars.

“Mothers need a place to feed their children,” said 2nd Lt. Kayla Bellona, 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs officer and head of the Mothers’ Room project. “We need more locations for our nursing mothers and Cannon wants to ensure all of our Air Commandos are supported.”

Air Force Instruction 44-102 states that buildings must have a quiet area aside from a bathroom available for a mother to breastfeed or pump. Facilities have supported this through conference rooms, offices or other spaces and Cannon AFB has at least two designated Mothers’ Rooms.

“I think it’s a great addition,” said Maj. Jessica Brown, 27th Special Operations Wing Inspector General Director of Inspections. “When I first had a child, my squadron didn’t have a designated area. We had turned a spare kitchen into an area for me.”

The new area currently houses rocking chairs and tables, but there are plans in place to include a sink to be installed for washing bottles and pumps. New paint and décor is also in the works to make the room feel more comfortable.

“It’s important that we make it as comfortable as possible for breastfeeding mothers,” said Bellona. “Being a working mother is stressful enough, so having a clean, private space to provide food to their children can certainly make it easier.”

The new room is open to all mothers, military and civilian, from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday.

“A new Mother’s Room is a great step in the right direction,” said Brown. “They let working mothers be in a safe and quiet area to do something that usually makes them feel vulnerable. A stress-free environment helps promote milk production, so the rooms really do help mothers.”

Additionally, the pediatrics clinic in the 27th Special Operations Medical Group building houses another Mothers’ Room.

It is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The room has been updated with the Medical Group Building moving.

Amenities include a rocking chair, small fridge for milk storage, bed, sink, baby scale, a small supply of diapers and a breast pump with supplies.

For questions about the new room, contact the facility manager of building 600 at 575-784-2716.