Deciding whether to breastfeed or breastfeed is a very personal decision that many parents make in their lifetime. There are many health benefits associated with lactation and providing breast milk to infants.
Seventy-nine percent of female veterans breastfeed their infants until at least four weeks after delivery. He is advised breastfeeding/breastfeeding for at least the first year of a child’s life. Sometimes it is not possible for a veteran to choose breastfeeding during this period or even at all. Its good.
Whether you breastfeed your baby for a year or not at all, VA is here to support you throughout your parenting journey. There are a variety of services and resources to help you succeed, no matter which path you choose.
Breastfeeding services expand as the veteran population grows and facilities add gender-specific health services for female veterans.
Many VA facilities are beginning to offer lactation services and programs, and veterans can also be reimbursed for lactation services through the VA Community Care Program.
It is important to have a conversation with your VA Maternity Care Coordinator or your facility’s lactation professional if one is available. Take full advantage of the benefits of VA.
Be sure to inquire about available breastfeeding services, which may include:
- Breastfeeding classes
- lactation advice
- Support groups
In addition to breastfeeding services, VA provides veteran parents with resources to help them breastfeed. These resources may include:
- breast pump / breast pump
- Nursing bras
- Push Up Bras
- Breast pads
- nipple cream
- nipple shields
- Milk storage bags
- Postpartum support belts
VA connects veteran parents who are unable to nurse/breastfeed with community resources. These resources may include references to the WIC, milk banks and more.
VA Supports All Veteran Parents
VA serves ALL who have served. Our mission is to include all veteran parents and all feeding methods.
Services and resources are available for veteran parents who adopt, have a child through a surrogate, are same-sex couples, or are transgender.
Please let your provider know your preferred pronouns and whether you would like your feeding experience to be referred to by a term other than breastfeeding, such as breast milk feeding or breastfeeding.
In addition to having a conversation about the services and resources available to you, there are several online resources that can help you feed your baby:
One in seven mothers depression after childbirth, so this is a particularly important time to seek further assistance. There is a team of national experts who can answer questions about breastfeeding and reproductive mental health.
VA created the Reproductive Mental Health Consultation Program to foster coordination between mental health services and reproductive health providers and ensure veterans receive the highest quality care.
The Women’s Veterans Call Center is also a helpful resource that can direct you to many VA health programs to meet your particular health needs.
Call 855-829-6626 for more information about breastfeeding services, VA programs and resources, VA benefits, or to connect with a maternity care coordinator. One is located in every VA medical center.