World Breastfeeding Week program being held at World Fair Park

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, and the Knox County Health Department is hosting a free event at World’s Fair Park to celebrate and educate. City and county officials prepare to announce World Breastfeeding Week in Knox County.

Robin Penneger, WIC’s breastfeeding coordinator for the Department of Health, said, “Breastfeeding is one of the best things a mother can do to protect her infant’s health, yet in Tennessee there has been a significant increase in breast-feeding rates among infants at 12 months of age.” There has been a decline.” program, said. “Given what families have experienced during the ongoing formula shortage, it is now more important than ever that we, as a community, do more to support mothers and their breastfeeding efforts.”

event is happening Thursday, August 4, Registration starts at 10 am at the World Fair Park Amphitheater.

For this year’s theme, “Step Up for Breastfeeding,” the Department of Health says attendees will be a walk in the park. There will also be T-shirt painting, goodie bags and door prizes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24% of babies born in Tennessee were breastfed before 12 months in 2020, down from 34% in 2018.

“Breastfed babies are less likely to develop a number of adverse health conditions, including diabetes and obesity,” the Department of Health shared. “In fact, a baby’s risk of becoming an overweight child decreases with each month of breastfeeding.”

Other breastfeeding facts shared by the Department of Health include how the WIC supports the program and why it’s important.

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Some benefits of breastfeeding:

  • Reduces risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and postpartum depression in mothers
  • Reduces risk of obesity, lower respiratory infections, type 2 diabetes, asthma and SIDS in infants
  • 90% of women who breastfeed for six months could result in $13 billion in cost savings as well as help prevent 1,000 infant deaths annually.

Women who are new mothers and able to breastfeed have resources in Knox County. The Health Department said in a notice Tweet This week that “learning to breastfeed is like learning any new skill” and while some new-nursing moms may face teething challenges, WIC Breastfeeding Support provides resources and expertise “every step.”