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KNOXVILLE — Many women have concerns about their health before, during and after pregnancy.

As part of International Cesarean Awareness Month, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is offering an event April 23 to educate women about preconceptive health.

“The Business of Being Born,” a documentary about going through the U.S. health system as a pregnant woman, will be shown at 6 p.m., and a panel discussion among health providers will follow. The event will be held in Room 27 of the Alumni Memorial Building. It is free and open to the public.

The panelists will include Linda Cole, certified nurse midwife and executive director/director of midwifery at the Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center; Sherri Hedberg, nurse manager at Lisa Ross and lactation consultant of the Breastfeeding Center at Lisa Ross; and Barb Levin, health officer of Monroe County and medical director of the Women’s Wellness and Maternity Center for Monroe County. Stephanie Welch from the Knox County Health Department will moderate the discussion.

The event is being organized by Stephanie Fletcher, a graduate student in the Public Health Nutrition program at UT, and is being co-sponsored by the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences and the Center for Public Health.

Former talk show host Ricki Lake is the executive producer of “The Business of Being Born.” Lake was inspired to make a documentary after the birth of her first child.

While the rate of cesarean births is extremely high in the U.S. compared to other developed countries, the documentary unveils the truth behind natural births and at-home births.

Information on preconceptive health and local resources covering topics such as folic acid, iron, the Women’s, Infant and Children (WIC) Program, the Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center, and the Breastfeeding Clinic at Lisa Ross will be handed out at the event.

This event also is being endorsed by the Panhellenic Council, College of Nursing, Interfraternity Council, Student Health Services, Women’s Coordinating Council, Graduate Nutrition Student Association, Undergraduate Nutrition Student Association and the Department of Nutrition.

For more information about the film, go to

For more information about International Cesarean Awareness Month, go to


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,

Katie Kavanagh-Prochaska, assistant professor, public health nutrition, (865) 974-6250

Stephanie Fletcher, (865) 974-2109,