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Local businesses get opportunity for lactation space makeover
April 23, 2024, 8:06 p.m.

KNOXVILLE — The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) and the East Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition (ETBC) are offering local businesses the opportunity to furnish a lactation space.

The “Great Lactation Space Makeover” is open to businesses who are looking to convert an empty room or unused space into a comfortable and welcoming space for employees/patrons to breastfeed or pump. Up to two businesses will be selected to receive furniture and supplies for their lactation space. Businesses must be based in Knox County and have a dedicated on-site (non-remote) workspace.

“When businesses provide such accommodations, they often see reduced rates of absenteeism and increased employee retention and morale,” said Sarah Lisson, nutritionist with KCHD’s Healthy Weight program. “For working mothers, employer support is a key factor in reaching their breastfeeding goals. Everybody wins when businesses support breastfeeding.”

According to the CDC, 83 percent of infants are breastfed at some point. Knox County is ahead of the national average at 85 percent. However, only 25 percent of infants are exclusively breastfed at six months, which is the national recommendation. Investing in quality spaces for mothers to nurse or pump will help them continue this invaluable effort.

Under Tennessee state law, businesses are required to accommodate breastfeeding employees by providing reasonable unpaid break time and a private space other than a bathroom in which to express milk.

Applications will be accepted through Friday, April 26. Click here to apply. For more information about KCHD’s breastfeeding resources, email Sarah Lisson at or call (865) 215-5160.

About Knox County Health Department
The first health department in Tennessee to achieve national voluntary accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) is dedicated to ensuring the conditions in which every resident can be healthy. For more information, visit

About East Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition
The East Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition’s mission is to protect, promote, and support all forms of human milk feeding in East Tennessee. Members meet monthly to discuss topics related to breastfeeding equity and promote continuity of care through policy, systems, and environmental change. Membership is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (865) 215-5160.

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