New Harvest Park Event Kicks Off World Breastfeeding Week
Marcie Singleton Award Recognizes Efforts on Behalf of Breastfeeding Mothers and Their Babies
To kick off World Breastfeeding Week (Aug. 1-7), the East Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition (ETBC) is hosting an “Ages and Stages” themed celebration at New Harvest Park, 4775 New Harvest Lane, on Aug. 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. At 12:30, ETBC will be presenting the Marcie Singleton Award in recognition to a business or organization that best provided for the needs of breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Knox County Public Library is this year's recipient. The event is free and open to the public. Breastfeeding mothers and moms-to-be are encouraged to attend.
Marcie Singleton was the Nutrition Director and Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Knox County Health Department's Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). She was a tireless advocate for mothers' and babies' rights to breastfeed. Her work included consultation with businesses to build lactation programs using the Business Case for Breastfeeding, a comprehensive program designed to educate employers about the value of supporting breastfeeding employees in the workplace. Last year's award recipient was the Knoxville office of Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain (LBMC), a firm that provides accounting, human resources, technology, staffing and investment advisory services. In 2010, ETBC recognized East Tennessee Children's Hospital and EdFinancial.
As part of the "Ages and Stages" theme, participants will be able to visit booths with information and activities related to the baby's age and stage in life, starting with newborn and going all the way to two years old, which is the World Health Organization's recommendation for breastfeeding. Here is a list of booth sponsors:
- 0-3 months - Fluff and Stuff, babywearing items and ideas
- 3-6 months - Knox County Health Department's WIC program and Dietitian Sarah Griswold, back to work
- 6-9 months - Lisa Ross Breastfeeding Center, mama craft making nursing necklaces
- 9-12 months - Amy Dever, UT Nutrition Department, healthy finger foods for the breastfeeding baby
- 12 months and beyond - Holistic Moms Network, baby led weaning
Not only do breastfed babies and their mothers receive numerous benefits from their time breastfeeding, but employers and society as a whole profit from the relationship. Breastfed babies have fewer ear infections, lower respiratory infections, and less diarrhea, as well as a reduced risk for asthma, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression. Employers benefit because parents of breastfed babies miss less work time caring for their sick child. They also save the medical costs from dependents on the company health care plan.
Societal benefits of breastfeeding include the prevention of 1,000 infant deaths annually and the savings of approximately $13 billion per year nationally. Medical care costs are lower for fully breastfed infants than those infants who were never breastfed. Breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations. Breastfeeding also is environmentally friendly. It requires no formula production, packaging, or shipping.
The components of time and place are both regulated by state and federal law. Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-305 (1999) requires employers to provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child. Employers also are required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the workplace for this activity. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 also addresses an employer's responsibilities toward breastfeeding mothers. Employers are required to provide "reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk." Employers are also required to provide "a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk."