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Local event to kick off World Breastfeeding Week

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The East Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition (ETBC) will host the fourth annual World Breastfeeding Week kick-off event on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Avenue. Breastfeeding mothers, moms-to-be, families and breastfeeding-friendly businesses are encouraged to attend the free event.

In addition to informational booths, activities include:

  • The Big Latch On – An opportunity for local moms to participate in the international Big Latch On, where moms 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 on Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. The Big Latch On takes place at 10:30 a.m.
  • Marcie Singleton Award Announcement – A tireless advocate for mothers’ rights to breastfeed, Marcie Singleton was the Nutrition Director and Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Knox County Health Department’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Each year, the award is given to a business or individual who goes above and beyond to promote and/or be supportive of breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding Welcomed Here – Participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about the Breastfeeding Welcomed Here Pledge as well as the businesses that have signed on.

Breastfed babies have 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. 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.

The event is sponsored by the East Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition, Knox County Health Department, Knox County WIC Program, Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center, The Breastfeeding Center at Lisa Ross, and The University of Tennessee Medical Center. More information about the Aug. 1 event is available by calling Robin Ferguson, KCHD WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator, at 865-215-5060.

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