Penn Nursing event transforms Philly into ‘City of Motherly Love’


Penn Nursing and a Wharton alumnus are teaming up to bring the health benefits of breastfeeding to the forefront at a special event this summer.

Diane Spatz, an associate professor of health care of women and childbearing nursing at Penn Nursing, and Ryan Comfort, a Wharton alumnus and chief empowerment officer at Milk for Thought, a breastfeeding advocacy organization, are inviting members of the Penn community, local residents, new mothers and moms-to-be to participate in a breastfeeding fair and rally on campus next month.

On Wednesday, Aug. 3, Milk for Thought’s “Latch On America” pink bus will stop on Spruce Street, outside of Houston Hall. From 2 to 5 p.m., Penn, Milk for Thought and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will host a breastfeeding fair inside Bodek Lounge featuring representatives from community organizations and hospitals that work with breastfeeding mothers.

The stop is part of a six-week, 30-city national tour designed to help mothers find support for breastfeeding and connect with experts. Also as part of the tour, Milk for Thought will document different cultural and regional perspectives on breastfeeding in public and breastfeeding-related workplace policies across the country. 

“This is an opportunity for local residents to become aware of all of the support and resources that are available,” Spatz says. “We’re connecting moms and moms-to-be with lactation experts, pediatricians and advocates who want to offer guidance and support. Breastfeeding moms and their babies can come together to show that Philadelphia is the ‘City of Motherly Love’ through breastfeeding.”

Comfort says the program is an example of how Penn works across disciplines to advance knowledge.

“By pairing Dr. Spatz’s experience with my technological background and Wharton education, we can come up with innovative solutions that neither of us could create working in isolation,” he says.

As part of the “Latch On America” tour, a documentary crew will interview people across the country about breastfeeding acceptance, the standard of breastfeeding care in hospitals and how workplace practices differ. The filmmakers plan to interview Spatz, who recently provided expert testimony in the development of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. They will also interview her students and former students.

Originally published on July 14, 2011