Goal to increase breastfeeding rates
The Knox County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program; Knox County Health Department (KCHD); and Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center will host their sixth annual World Breastfeeding Week kick-off Friday, Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Ave. Breastfeeding mothers, moms-to-be, families and breastfeeding advocates are encouraged to attend the free event.
“Breastfeeding is a public health priority due to the long-term health benefits for both mom and baby,” said KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan. “However, education alone isn’t enough to increase breastfeeding rates. We must find ways, as a society, to better support moms and their efforts to breastfeed.”
In addition to informational booths, activities at the Aug. 5 event include:
- The Big Latch On – An opportunity for local moms to participate in the international Big Latch On, where women from around the world meet at registered locations to breastfeed their children at the same time. To participate, mothers should arrive at Ijams Nature Center at 10 a.m. The Big Latch On takes place at 10:30 a.m.
- Marcie Singleton Award Announcement – A tireless advocate for a mother’s right to breastfeed, Marcie Singleton was the nutrition director and breastfeeding coordinator for the Knox County WIC Program. Each year, the award is given to a business or individual who goes above and beyond to promote and/or be supportive of breastfeeding.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects 1 in 6 children and adolescents in the U.S. A baby’s risk of becoming an overweight child goes down with each month of breastfeeding. And, a mother’s breastfeeding success rate can be greatly improved through active support from their families, friends, communities, clinicians, employers and community leaders. In addition to the benefits for mother and child, a study published in 2010 in the journal Pediatrics estimated that the nation would save $13 billion per year in health care and other costs if 90 percent of U.S. babies were exclusively breastfed for six months.
More information about the Aug. 5 event is available by contacting Knox County WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator Robin Penegar at 865-215-5060.