TDH Encourages Breastfeeding To Help Improve Health of Mothers and Babies

Tuesday, August 02, 2016 | 08:12am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health recognizes breastfeeding as an important way to help babies get off to a healthy start. TDH is proud to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week Aug. 1-7 to promote the importance of breastfeeding. The theme for WBW 2016 is Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development, focusing on ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity.

Every county in Tennessee has at least one event scheduled to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week or National Breastfeeding Month this August. Find a calendar of events online at

‘’Community support for breastfeeding is essential to help more mothers make the important and healthy choice to breastfeed,’’ said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. ‘’We applaud the many businesses in Tennessee who have already made the commitment to create an environment that encourages mothers to breastfeed.’’      

In communities across Tennessee more than 650 businesses have taken the ‘’Breastfeeding Welcomed Here’’ pledge! These businesses have made a commitment to provide an environment where breastfeeding mothers are able to sit anywhere and enjoy a welcoming attitude from the staff, management and other patrons. Find the list of participating businesses or take the pledge at

‘’We encourage mothers across our state to breastfeed their babies because we know breastfeeding can prevent many health concerns later in life,’’ said TDH Assistant Commissioner for Family Health and Wellness Morgan McDonald, MD, FAAP, FACP. ‘’The benefits of breastfeeding for baby include protecting against upper respiratory infections, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases and obesity as well as reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in mothers.’’

The Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline, 1-855-4BF-MOMS (1-855-423-6667), is a resource to assist nursing mothers and families. This toll-free number is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week to connect breastfeeding mothers, caregivers, family members and others seeking information on breastfeeding with trained lactation consultants and counselors. Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding at  

The Tennessee Department of Health also promotes breastfeeding through the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program and the local county health departments’ Designated Breastfeeding Expert services for their communities. These designated staff members can assist women with breastfeeding needs as well as businesses in creating a breastfeeding space for the business’ employees and clients. Find location and contact information for Tennessee’s county health departments at

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at