The Coast Guard will pay for moms on duty to ship breast milk to their babies back home

The US Coast Guard is trying to make it a bit easier for new moms to return to work.

The US Coast Guard is trying to make it a bit easier for new moms to return to work.

Via a new program, moms on duty who send breast milk back home for their babies will be able to get up to $750 of yearly shipping costs reimbursed.

The program, announced on Tuesday, is in response to feedback from the Women’s Retention Study and Holistic Analysis, the US Coast Guard said.

All active duty members — including Public Health Service officers, US Navy chaplains attached to the Coast Guard, reservists on Active Duty for Operational Support and their spouses, and civilian employees — are eligible for the reimbursement program, the Coast Guard said.

The shipments must fall during business travel periods of 72 hours or longer.

Gender diversity in the Coast Guard

Adm. Karl L. Schultz established a task force in June 2018 to improve gender diversity in the Coast Guard.

Women leave the active-duty Coast Guard at higher rates than men, according to a March Coast Guard-commissioned report by the nonprofit think tank RAND Corporation.

The retention rate at 5 years of service was 5.6% higher for male service members. When the report looked at 19 years of service, the male service members’ retention rate was nearly 13% higher, RAND Corporation found in another report.

The report found that issues that influenced women’s retention rates were associated with the impact that extended deployments, frequent transfers and work requirements had on their children, especially when both parents were on active duty. Other barriers included concerns about sexual harassment and scarcity of female role models, RAND Corporation found.

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