Story by A1C Allison Payne on 02/08/2019Joint Base Charleston's Air Base Child Development Center was selected by Aeroflow Breastpumps as the winner of their first-ever pumping room makeover' contest. The makeover, revealed Jan. 11, 2019, consisted of a complete room transformation, including comfortable furniture for moms, a side table, organizational areas, room accessories and breastfeeding artwork.
Cheri Hoffman, Mom & Baby Brand manager at Aeroflow, a provider specializing in helping pregnant and nursing women qualify for their breast pump through insurance, said they received more than 550 contest entries in a one-month period and selected the winner based on a variety of criteria, such as the number of breastfeeding families who would benefit from the room, finding an organization which was just as passionate about supporting breastfeeding moms and a compelling story overall. Hoffman said it was a tough choice, but JBC stood out because she saw it as an opportunity to not only provide a makeover, but to also raise awareness around the benefits of supporting breastfeeding moms in the military community.
"On behalf of the Air Base Child Development Center, I want to thank Cheri for selecting our facility to receive their first room makeover," said Judith Jackson, Air Base CDC director. "I also want to recognize Mamie Futrell, a parent of children enrolled in our program, who submitted our facility for this contest. With this new pumping room, our military and civilian mothers have a modern and comfortable place to support their breastfeeding requirements for their newborns. We are honored to receive this generous gift and very grateful for Aeroflow Breastpumps' support of our military community."
JBC's child development centers are nationally certified and strive to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. The program's mission is to assist military and civilian personnel in balancing the competing demands of the accomplishment of the Department of Defense mission and family life by managing and delivering a system of quality, available and affordable programs and services for eligible children. Providing moms with a safe and private room to pump is one of many ways the DOD mission is reflected in the center.
"It's so important to have a consistent space to pump in so we can keep a steady milk supply," said Staff Sgt. Jozi Erdman, 628th Communications Squadron quality assurance evaluator. "Any small or inconsistent change can have a major effect in milk production, so the new room will not only help combat that, but it will also allow us to relax in a space that's specifically designed to accommodate a pumping or breastfeeding mom. It has lifted a weight off my shoulders knowing that I won't have to worry about a proper pumping space versus a room that's been magically' turned into a pumping room and doesn't provide any real benefits for me."
Upon completion, the newly decorated room was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony. With smiles on their faces, moms filled the room, discussing the before and after' and how excited they were to use it.
"I think what Aeroflow is doing with this contest is beyond encouraging and amazing," said Mamie Futrell, 628th Air Base Wing sexual assault response coordinator for the Air Base. "It really opens your eyes to the fact that you don't need a lot of money or even a big space to make a pumping room. When moms feel supported throughout their motherhood journey, they're happier and more productive employees. Oftentimes, not having a private space to pump or nurse is a barrier to mothers wanting to breastfeed, so having a private, comfortable room is extremely important for them. When you can comfortably nurse your baby, your milk supply comes in a lot faster and fuller, versus using the machine, which can cause a decrease in your milk production. Without this pumping room, I don't know if I would have been able to nurse as long as I did. I am forever thankful and hopeful that this will support moms who want to nurse their babies when they return to work here at JBC."