LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The smell of freshly brewed coffee paired with classical music makes this dimly lit room feel like a safe space for everyone to enjoy after a long day. The many paintings, books, and seating options help make the space feel serene, peaceful, and calm.
Although breastfeeding rooms are located throughout the base, the Airmen of the 372nd Training Squadron from Detachment 12 took the creation of a room for breastfeeding women one step further by also creating a “wellness room”. be” adjoining, where anyone with access to the base can take advantage of all this space has to offer.
“The Wellness and Lactation Room was created for everyone who visits the school and needs a room to relax and take a break from the daily tasks that Airmen face,” Tech said. sergeant. Jessica Booth, 372nd TRS Det 12 Production Supervisor. “The lactation room was also created for the nurse educators and student nurses we have at the school. It is a permanent room that all breastfeeding mothers can use to express their milk during working hours, which are from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. »
With various meetings and trainings held in the detachment, Booth said she is grateful that the halls initiative has gained a lot of ground and she hopes members leave feeling invigorated and inspired to make a difference within the detachment. their own units.
“I hope that once people find out about both our wellness and lactation room, they’ll create one in their shop,” Booth said. “We task our Airmen with so many day-to-day tasks, including performance reports, training programs, and taking care of their troops, which can be overwhelming. We need to take care of our employees and give back to them for all the hard work they do every day.
Booth is showcasing its support for these hard-working Airmen by continuously restocking snacks, beverages and items in the spaces.
“The wellness room is stocked weekly thanks to Technical Sergeant Booth,” said Staff Sergeant. Kasandra Duran, 372nd TRS Det 12 F-35A Lightning II weapons instructor. “The breastfeeding room has books for mothers to read while they pump and there is also a Bluetooth speaker which we bought to listen to music. The wellness room has a television to stream relaxing music and pictures throughout the day, as well as a coffee bar offering hot chocolate, snacks, fresh fruit and a variety of juices and waters.
From the coffee bar with snacks to the handmade paintings, Booth and Duran have made this special space a real sight to behold and experience.
“Technical Sergeant Booth’s attention to detail is not only phenomenal, but she also made sure every piece was perfect for our colleagues, students and visitors,” Duran said. “We came together to make the spaces unique and outfitted them both with all the little details needed so that mothers, male instructors and students alike could enjoy their time in Detachment 12. Without the caring attitude of the Technical Sergeant Booth as Supervisor [and mother]both bedrooms would not have been possible.
Members can relax using the wellness room and use this serene space to increase their mental well-being.
“The wellness room is imperative when it comes to mental health, because the ability to escape stressful situations can be incredibly accommodating,” Booth said. “If the job is exhausting, escaping to be alone for a few moments can give the brain time to relax and recharge.”
Booth and Duran agreed that this comfort zone would not have been possible without other helping hands who also helped with the project.
“While I came up with the idea for the rooms, many people helped bring these rooms to life,” Booth said. “Instructors from evacuation, fuels, weapons, commander support personnel, avionics and team leaders helped create the two rooms. From painting the walls to fixing the plumbing in the lactation room, this project was a team effort and something I couldn’t have done alone.
Additionally, Booth said his leadership also played a huge role in this project by securing funding for the chambers, which amounted to approximately $2,500.
From shirt hooks to the mirror and all the necessary cleaning supplies, Duran said nursing rooms are a much more acceptable space for mothers.
“We want all women at Luke Air Force Base to know that we are here to provide them with a comfortable space to support their babies, while continuing to be successful in their careers in the military,” Duran said. “All the women in the detachment, including myself, are married ‘mil to mil’. This has made it difficult for each of us to decide when is the right time to start a family or add to our families. The nursing room has been a big boost to our morale, giving us the hope we needed to know we can grow our families and still have a space at work that supports our babies as well as our mental health. .
Like Duran, Booth also shares a personal connection to these pieces and hopes her sisters in arms can benefit from them like her and Duran.
“Speaking from my own experience as a new mother, I hope this room will make active duty, custody and reserve mothers feel like they don’t need to choose between work and family,” Booth said. “A mother can continue her career while providing for her children. The room is equipped with everything a breastfeeding mother needs. Hot running water, dim lighting to help the mother relax, cleaning products to clean the breast pump parts and even a changing table for the child. The nursing mother only needs to bring her breast pump and storage bag.
With both wards offering so much support and supplies, Booth highlighted the importance of making a difference in the lives of others and why it is so important.
“By providing a space in which our Airmen can take care of themselves and their needs, whether it’s expressing milk or simply taking time for themselves, it shows that we are more than just bodies. , but respected members of the Air Force,” Stand said.