Breastfeeding in Combat Boots


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"Robyn Roche-Paull's book, Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, is far more than a 'survival guide.' It is practical, well-referenced and totally awe-inspiring!"

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"Robyn Roche-Paull's book, Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, is far more than a 'survival guide.' It is practical, well-referenced and totally awe-inspiring! ... Robyn's stories of courage, creativity and determination weave a powerful thread through this realistic, no-nonsense book. Bravo!"
-Linda J. Smith, BSE, FACCE, IBCLC - military spouse of a USAF Colonel with 26 years of service.

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots is a much needed resource for active-duty mothers and mothers-to-be, who are seeking information and support on how to breastfeed successfully while serving their country.

Are you pregnant and in the military? Do you want to breastfeed, but just don't know how you can combine 12-hour shifts, training exercises, or deployment with breastfeeding your baby? Robyn Roche-Paull answers these questions and more in Breastfeeding in Combat Boots - A Survival Guide to Successful Breastfeeding While Serving in the Military. As a veteran of the United States Navy, mother of three breastfed children, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and La Leche League Leader, the author has helped many active-duty mothers breastfeed their babies. She has now compiled this knowledge into a comprehensive guide to help all mothers in the military breastfeed their babies successfully.

Most services now have written policies in place to support breastfeeding and direct commanders to provide a place and time for pumping milk. However, even with the policies in place, military mothers face unique circumstances that can make breastfeeding successfully a challenge. This book was written to help military mothers overcome the challenges they face so they can provide the best nutrition for their babies. Some of the topics covered include the following:

How do I get breastfeeding off to a good start in only six short weeks?
Can I pump while in the desert for training exercises?
Is my pump allowed onboard ship?
Do I need to pump and dump if I've been exposed to JP-8?
How do I deal with co-workers who do not support my pumping while on duty?

These questions and more are answered in Breastfeeding in Combat Boots! In this book, the author provides military moms with insight into the rewarding and wonderful aspects of breastfeeding on active duty, while also giving a realistic look at the challenges that lay ahead. If you are an active-duty pregnant or breastfeeding mother or you work with active-duty mothers, this book is a must-have book for your resource library. Not only is it comprehensive and easy-to-read, it also includes many testimonials from military moms who have successfully breastfed and are happy to share their experiences.


Winner of the 2011 NAPPA Honors Award and the 2011 MWSA Silver Award.

Author: Robyn Roche-Paull, BS, IBCLC, LLLL

Copyright: 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9845039-4-0

Total Pages: 354




ILCA Print and Multimedia Reviews
December 2010 – Available at

Breastfeeding In Combat Boots: A Survival Guide to Successful Breastfeeding While Serving in the Military
Robyn Roche-Paull, BS, IBCLC, LLLL
Hale Publishing, 2010
352 pages, illustrated, US$29.95, softcover
Orders: Hale Publishing, LP, 1712 N. Forest Street, Amarillo, TX 79106 USA
Tel: 806-376-9900; toll free: 800-378-1317; fax: 806-376-9901
E-mail:; URL:

Following childbirth, active duty personnel in the U.S. military are required by law to return to work within the period specified in their contract. Breastfeeding in Combat Boots is truly a survival guide for breastfeeding mothers who are serving in the military, an environment dominated by males and where duty always comes first.

The first two sections are a primer on preparation for breastfeeding, refers to breastfeeding as the biological norm and to breastfeeding in the early weeks with specific, evidence-based information regarding hurdles many women face. Section 3 begins with the specific regulations from each branch of the armed forces. Ms. Roche-Paull, a U.S. Navy veteran, reviews the basics of manual expression and pumping. Chapter 10 has a helpful table, “Military Pumping Scenarios” (p. 163). At first glance, this may seem too regimented. However, some women may prefer a well-organized system with specific parameters to guide them toward a schedule that best meets their needs. That chart coupled with the boxed “Sample Plan for a Pumping, Active-Duty, Breastfeeding Mother of a 4-month old” on the following page, are primers on how to achieve successful breastfeeding.

Shaded boxes contain breastfeeding tips and tricks that are helpful for any woman who must pump full-time. The sections on the military’s unique work environment in which a nursing mother and her baby may be separated for several months at a time, in the desert, on a ship, deployments and long-term temporary duty (TAD/TDY) are comprehensive and full of real-life examples. Many inspirational stories depict how active-duty members have hand expressed during these times and recount how women have shipped milk to their babies from overseas.

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots is a comprehensive, yet concise, well-rounded lactation book. It is a good resource for mothers who are required to return to work. Although the book title targets U.S. military personnel as its readership, mothers employed in positions that offer only a short maternity leave, and no flexibility in length of shifts without breaks, heavy physical exercise, extended leaves from home, as well as involve military service in other countries, will find this book invaluable if they are required to return to work when their baby is quite young (six weeks).

Angela Love-Zaranka, BA, IBCLC, RLC
Alexandria, Virginia USA


    I've never been in the military, but as a board-certified lactation consultant, I have long sought specific information to help my breastfeeding clients who are serving in the military. But this book really surpases my expectations!

    I'm very impressed by the depth and extent of the information. This book provides accurate, very specific, well-versed ideas and practical recommendations in clear, military-style language that doesn't sugar-coat the realities, but also shows the many ways that breastfeeding can happen that work for the mom, the baby, and the military. I particularly like the way that the author emphasizes the importance of maxmizing the mother and baby's time together so that they make the most of it and enjoy it fully.

    This wonderful new book fills a much needed niche in the breastfeeding literature and is now one of my favorite breastfeeding books. It's so great to know that now more military moms will be able to stay connected to their babies through breastfeeding!


      This is a MUST HAVE book for all military moms. I am active duty navy, and I have breastfed and pumped for 3 children all while active duty. I am also a Labor and Delivery nurse at the military hospital and see all the active duty moms who deliver and are planning to breast feed. I ALWAYS recommed purchasing this book, it is so helpful, has many answers to breast feeding issues. It addresses the challenges that can go along with breastfeeding and pumping in the military and how to overcome them. These can be unique challeneges that no other work force encounters. This book has been something that has been long needed for military mothers.

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        Breastfeeding in Combat Boots

        Breastfeeding in Combat Boots

        "Robyn Roche-Paull's book, Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, is far more than a 'survival guide.' It is practical, well-referenced and totally awe-inspiring!"

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