Life at the 'Lik - Storknesting

Expecting mothers at Incirlik Air Base fly to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany for Storknesting. This is typically occurs between the 34-36th week for a normal pregnancy, or sooner if necessary. (Courtesy photo)

Expecting mothers at Incirlik Air Base fly to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany for Storknesting. This is typically occurs between the 34-36th week for a normal pregnancy, or sooner if necessary. (Courtesy photo)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Editor's note: This article is part of a series designed to provide in-depth information to both current and future members of Team Incirlik about topics specific to Incirlik and Turkey. The goal is to assist Airmen and families in making informed decisions about their move to the area and to provide guidance about local policies, procedures and quality of life matters.

The theme of flying white storks bringing a baby to parents extends from old superstitions to modern day greeting cards; but, at Incirlik AB, expectant mothers are the ones who take flight.

In an effort to ensure the best childbirth experience possible, expecting mothers at Incirlik AB fly to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, to "Storknest." Some frequently asked questions have been answered below to help expecting and potential mothers at Incirlik AB understand what Storknesting entails and to be equipped to make informed decisions.

I'm pregnant or hope/plan to be. Should I come to Incirlik?
While we cannot provide a "yes" or "no" answer for you (that's something you and your spouse/family will have to ultimately decide), we hope to provide enough information that you feel you are able to make an informed decision. For specific questions, please send them to the Medical Group Patient Advocate at 39_MDG_Patient_ Adv@us.af.mil.

Why do we have to Storknest?
The Air Force and your medical care team at Incirlik Air Base want to ensure you have the services necessary to have the safest experience for both mother and infant during the birthing process. Our Storknesting location at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center has a long history of providing top quality care to Incirlik's new mothers and their newborns.

Where do I get started on my storknesting experience and where can I get additional information?
You get started by contacting the Incirlik's Women's Health Clinic at DSN 314-676-3141 where they will schedule you for an initial appointment. For additional information, please contact the Medical Group Patient Advocate at 39_MDG_Patient_Adv@us.af.mil.

At what point in my pregnancy will I be Storknested in Germany?
Your primary care or women's health provider will determine the best time for you to go to Landstuhl for Storknesting. This is typically between the 34-36th week for a normal pregnancy, or sooner if necessary. The 39th Medical Support Squadron patient travel office will assist you in the travel arrangements as well as provide more details on Storknesting such as what expenses are covered, expected departure dates and additional administrative information.

Will my spouse go with me?
Your spouse will usually be your non-medical attendant and will be placed on orders to travel to Landstuhl just prior to your expected delivery date and up to 14 days after your delivery. If your spouse is active duty, they may be able to request paternity leave or ordinary leave from their unit commander in conjunction with the time allowed for being a non-medical attendant.

Where can I get childcare for my other children while I'm Storknesting?
Please contact your first sergeant or your spouse's first sergeant (if dependant) to arrange a family care plan. Your other children are not authorized to be on orders while you are Storknesting.

Where can I expect to spend the six weeks after I arrive at Landstuhl?
Storknesting patients have priority for staying in billeting next to the hospital on Landstuhl. They will make every effort to put you in a temporary lodging facility (TLF) which is equipped with a bedroom, living area with a hide-a-bed sofa and a kitchen which includes an oven, stove and refrigerator. The TLF will be equipped with pots, pans, dishes, cups, serving utensils and most other basic necessities. There may be times when a TLF is unavailable at the time of check-in and you may be assigned to a regular hotel room. You will be moved to a TLF unit as soon as one becomes available. Unfortunately, it is not possible to house all Storknesting patients on the first floor, so please be aware that unless there is a medical reason, you may not automatically be on the first floor.

What other advice do you have for expecting parents?
Be prepared with a family care plan. Being stationed at Incirlik AB is not like being stateside where family is readily available to watch the other children, nor does the child care center have unlimited openings. Air Force Instruction 36-2908, Family Care Plans, requires members with civilian spouses who have unique family situations (like Storknesting) to complete a family care plan form. We recommend contacting your first sergeant or your spouse's first sergeant (if you are a dependant) to develop a family care plan.

What information can I find out regarding storknesting at Landstuhl prior to my arrival?
Your point of contact for everything regarding Storknesting at Landstuhl is the Storknest coordinator at (49) 6371-86-6346 (if calling from outside of Germany) or 06371-86-6346 (if calling from within Germany). The DSN number is 314-486-6346.