KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — More businesses in East Tennessee are working to provide nursing moms with a safe space.
They show their support by taking the 'Breastfeeding Welcomed Here' pledge.
In 2019, 40 businesses in Knox County welcomed breastfeeding moms. Since then, that number has grown to 117.
Under Tennessee state law, a mother can breastfeed in any location, public or private. Places like Morris Creative Group and Top Knox Beauty Bar fully support moms and their babies.
“So we do offer a room where they're able to go in private that they can lock”, said Melissa Pinyon, owner of Top Knox Beauty Bar.
“We've embraced it; we're excited to be able to support mothers that do that or have that need,” said Joe Ortiz, director of operations at Morris Creative Group.
It is all through the 'Breastfeeding Welcomed Here' campaign. It encourages places to sign a pledge to provide a comfortable space for moms to breastfeed.
Ortiz says they have an area near the break room for both employees and clients.
Over at the Top Knox Beauty bar, Pinyon says some of the stylists even wear breast pumps while working.
“And so they are allowed to pump still and for being able to provide for their baby without stopping their service,” said Pinyon.
Even though there are 117 businesses participating in the campaign, it still only makes up for one percent of all companies in Knox County. Health leaders hope more businesses will jump on board.