Healthy Active Arkansas (HAA) and the organizers of RiverFest have partnered to offer a breastfeeding nook for breastfeeding moms as part of 2018 RiverFest.

The nook will be a comfortable, private space for mothers who need to breastfeed their children or pump while visiting the event. This is the first time a designated breastfeeding space has been offered as part of RiverFest.

Staff from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Department of Health will be at the breastfeeding nook and available to answer questions about breastfeeding. The nook will be housed within a tent provided by the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention—a partner of HAA—in the Ford Family Fun Zone.

“RiverFest is a three-day music festival that will bring families from all over our state to Little Rock,” Jessica Donahue, registered nurse, Baptist Health Expressly for You Director and Healthy Active Arkansas Breastfeeding co-lead, said. “It is very exciting to hear that RiverFest organizers have made breastfeeding moms a comfortable private place to nurse their infants while attending this great event with their families.”

RiverFest Event Director Jack Daniels said she agreed with that.

“We are thrilled to partner with Healthy Active Arkansas at RiverFest this year,” she said. “RiverFest is an event for all ages, and we understand that many families that attend our event, especially the Ford Family Fun Zone, have young children. For mothers who are more comfortable nursing their children in a private space, we are happy to be able to provide them with a private and comfortable space.”

 Breastfeeding has been linked to fewer incidences of ear and upper respiratory infections in infants, sudden infant death syndrome and obesity over the lifespan. In addition, breastfeeding benefits mothers by reducing their risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer and aids in losing weight gained during pregnancy.

Mothers who receive support to breastfeed through their family, employer, or community are more likely to continue exclusively breastfeeding for the recommended six months’[s] timeframe.

Individuals or organizations interested in learning how they can support breastfeeding can learn more by visiting the Arkansas Breastfeeding Coalition at www.arbfc.org. 

The Expressly for You breastfeeding helpline (501) 202-7378 is also available 24 hours, seven days a week to mothers who have questions or need advice.

The Arkansas Breastfeeding Helpline (1-844-344-0408) is also available 24/7.

Additional information, including lactation room design plans and community breastfeeding resources can be found at healthyactive.org.