Tag Archives: breastfeeding

TN fares poorly in breastfeeding report

Tennessee is listed “near the bottom” among states for breastfeeding, reports the Johnson City Press, though improved from “dismal numbers” in the past.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2014 Report Card on breastfeeding listed Tennessee near the bottom of the U.S. for breastfeeding, which it deems as a process that has “many known health benefits for infants, children, and mothers.”

Scoring high on the agency’s report card revolves around the amount of education, provided by International Certified Lactation Consultants, which helps with the rates of breastfeeding for different ages in an infant’s development. A high score also depends on the amount of available support provided by the state.

While the 2013 report card showed dismal numbers for the Volunteer State — with comparably low numbers of children who’ve ever breastfed, were breastfed at 3, 6 and 12 months and were exclusively breastfed at those checkpoints — 2014 showed that the CDC’s initiatives were working, producing much better figures for breastfeeding proponents.

“Tennessee has made a significant jump over the last year,” said Chasta Hite, RNC, IBCLC and Mountain States Health Alliance’s lactation services manager.

…One big change that’s occurred in recent years is hospitals like MSHA taking part in the “Ban the Bag” campaign, which is a national campaign to stop formula company’s marketing in maternity hospitals. In the past, Hite said, formula companies would use births as an opportunity to get mothers hooked on their cow milk formula, rather than breastfeeding the natural way.

While formula feeding is an option, Hite said breastfeeding mothers should not be ashamed to feed their hungry babies in public, though she recognizes the sexual stigma still remains.

Note: In 2011, the Legislature approved a state law that specifically authorized public breastfeeding of an infant, regardless of age, and without the mother being prosecuted for public indecency or indecent exposure. Prior law prohibited breastfeeding of an infant more than a year old.

The CDC 2014 report gives Tennessee a score of 67 on support of breastfeeding, compared to the national average of 75. It says 74.9 percent of Tennessee babies are breastfed for at least some period versus a national average of 79.2 percent.

Going Beyond the Breastfeeding Law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville’s Metro Health Department is encouraging local businesses to make breastfeeding mothers feel welcome.
Breastfeeding in public is protected under state law, but some business owners still discourage it.
Now Nashville businesses are being asked to place a decal of the international breastfeeding symbol in their windows as part of the “Breastfeeding Welcomed Here” campaign, according to The Tennessean (http://bit.ly/qUm2wi).
The effort is part of the Health Department’s $7.5 million NashVitality campaign to improve residents’ health.
The campaign is funded by a federal grant to fight obesity, and breastfeeding has been linked to lower rates of obesity in children. Studies also have found that breastfeeding can decrease the risk of diabetes, diarrhea and respiratory and ear infections.

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Breastfeeding Bill Goes to Governor

The House on Monday night gave final approval and sent to the governor legislation that repeals a current state law barring the breastfeeding of a child more than a year old.
The House approved the bill, 94-0, under sponsorship of Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville, without any debate or discussion beyond Brooks’ brief description of the measure, SB083.
Advocates for the measure said Tennessee is one of just four states that set an age limit on breastfeeding, contending that doing so is inappropriate both for the well-being of children and as needless governmental intrusion.

TN Legislative Notebook: Breastfeeding, Sharia Law, Board Cuts & Funerals

Faulk Upbeat on Breastfeeding Bill
State Sen. Mike Faulk admits his public breast-feeding legislation has made people “a little squeamish,” but he is confident about its passage, reports Hank Hayes.
“It’s not unanimous, but it’s overwhelmingly positive,” Faulk, R-Church Hill, said of the legislative feedback the bill has received. “The e-mails (coming to his legislative e-mail account) are 50 to 1 in favor, and that’s probably on the conservative side. The medical community is in favor of it. … Channel 2 Nashville, it was their lead story (Thursday) night.”
The bill is advancing toward floor votes in the Tennessee House and Senate amid an uneasy discussion in a Senate committee last Wednesday.
Faulk’s bill would allow mothers to publicly breast-feed a child regardless of the child’s age and without the mother being prosecuted for public indecency or indecent exposure.

Sharia Bill Revision in Works
Senator Bill Ketron has met with some of his Muslim constituents about a bill they say will make it a felony to practice their religion, according to WPLN
Ketron and the Muslims both come from Murfreesboro. But this was their first meeting since the senator introduced a bill to outlaw Sharia, which Muslims and religious authorities say is a guide to living – like Jewish Halaka, or the Christian emphasis on the Ten Commandments.
Remziya Suleyman, of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, says the small group of Muslims from Murfreesboro was encouraged.
“We were told that there would be an amendment to the bill that would take away any conversation, or really, notation of, Sharia.” Ketron had previously told reporters he would submit an amendment to simplify the controversial bill. But making the comment to the Muslims may have helped bridge a gap, says Suleyman.

Watson Accepts Haslam Challenge
During this week’s State of the State address, Gov. Bill Haslam gave an unexpected shout-out and challenge to Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, reports Andy Sher.
Watson is chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee, which is responsible for the periodic review of state agencies, boards and commissions as well as of administrative rules and regulations.
Haslam asked the General Assembly to begin “reviewing every board and commission. Determine whether 140 boards and commissions are necessary.” Noting Watson’s role as chairman, Haslam said “for 18 months he and his colleagues have been looking at this issue, and they have made progress. We can and should do more.”
Said Watson later: “I like it.” Eliminating more likely will be a challenge though, politically speaking, Watson said.

Pitts on Penalizing Funeral Protests
Clarksville’s state Rep. Joe Pitts is pushing legislation that increases the penalty on those who protest against the nation’s soldiers at Tennessee funerals, reports the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle.
“I want everyone to know they have a constitutional right to protest against our nation and the brave individuals who have fought for all of us, but violating prescribed boundaries and proving disruptive will mean a stiffer penalty than before,” Pitts said in a news release.
A recent Supreme Court ruling upheld the right of free speech relating to certain groups protesting at funerals, but also affirmed that protestors must comply with police guidance on where the picketing can be staged. Under Tennessee law, disorderly conduct within 500 feet of a funeral or funeral procession it a misdemeanor, the release said

Senate Committee Lifts Age Limit for Breastfeeding in Public

A Senate committee voted today to remove the current age limit for breastfeeding in public, but not without some senators fretting that they were going too far.
“Is 35 a child?” asked Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson. “I know that sounds crazy, but I’m thinking of a situation in a bar where maybe things got a little crazy.”
“I know I’m going way out on a fringe thinking a 14-year-old, but weird things happen in our society,” said Watson.
Sen. Ophelia Ford, D-Memphis, said she had “read somewhere” of a mother breastfeeding a 5-year-old in a restaurant and that would make people uncomfortable.
Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, declaring that “at some point there should be some sort of line,” proposed an amendment to allow public breastfeeding up to age 3.
“There are a lot of strange people in this world,” said Campfield.
But Campfield’s 3-year-old amendment was voted down after the bill sponsor, Sen. Mike Faulk, R-Kingsport, said it was wrong for government to be setting an “arbitrary” limit on a matter that should be between a mother and her child.
“In the first place, why would a mother be charged with indecent exposure for breastfeeding a child and why would that be the business of the state?” said Faulk. “And, third, who’s going to (check the) ID (of) the child (for age)?”

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