Annual breastfeeding awareness event

By Jessica Johnston, Reporter

The Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department is hosting its 6th Annual Breastfeeding Awareness Month Party-in-the-Park on Saturday, July 28.

The health department hosts the event to kick off Breastfeeding Awareness Month, which runs throughout the month of August, and World Breastfeeding Week, which is Aug. 1 through 7.

World Breastfeeding Week aims to normalize and educate communities about the importance of breastfeeding.

Saturday’s event echos the message of World Breastfeeding Week. The party is welcoming to current, former and soon-to-be breastfeeding mothers, as well as those who support the practice, Lisa Davidson, Women, Infants and Children Breastfeeding Coordinator said.

“It’s about bringing people together,” Davidson said.

The event offers light refreshments, door prizes and a make-and-take flower pot craft, but the attendees never ask for more events. The mothers that attend enjoy the time regardless of the activities.

“They really just like talking and getting together,” Davidson said.

While the first annual event only had roughly nine mothers and a few supporters, the past couple years have had more than 40 mothers with their families and supporters totaling more than 100 people.

T-shirts to support Breastfeeding the Foundation of Life organization are available for purchase and are encouraged to be worn at the event.

A press release distributed by Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department advises establishments to put signs in their windows and educate their staff on how to be welcoming of breastfeeding mothers.

In accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 3781.55, women are permitted to breastfeed in public, according to the press release.

“It’s truly the building blocks for health, for preventative health,” Davidson said of breastfeeding.

The event on Saturday is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Dillon Dam Park. Mothers are encouraged to bring their families to enjoy the fun and play on the playground. The annual group photo will be taken during the event.