WOMEN'S LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS OPENS LACTATION ROOM FOR MOTHERS AT STATE CAPITOL
Lactation Room 2: Women's Legislative Caucus members celebrate the blessing and opening of the new Lactation Room at the State Capitol. (From left) Rep. Linda Ichiyama, Rep. Lauren Matsumoto, Sen. Laura H. Thielen, Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker, Rep. Della Au Belatti, Sen. Sharon Y. Moriwaki, Rep. Lisa Kitagawa, and Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura.
WOMEN'S LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS OPENS LACTATION ROOM FOR MOTHERS ATTENDING PUBLIC HEARINGS AT THE STATE CAPITOL
Room will provide privacy, comfort for mothers to nurse babies, express milk
The Women's Legislative Caucus (WLC) today held a blessing and opening ceremony for the first Lactation Room at the State Capitol. The room, located on the second floor, will provide a comfortable, private space for mothers to nurse their babies and express milk. The space is comfortably furnished with a table, chair, posters and a rug provided by the House and Senate Clerks offices for the project.
"In the past, mothers who came to the Capitol to talk to lawmakers, attend hearings, or testify did not have a private, hygienic place to use a breast pump," said Representative Linda Ichiyama, Women's Legislative Caucus Co-Convener. "This new room for mothers and families removes a barrier to open participation in government. I'm grateful it all came together before the start of the next legislative session."
Lactation Room 1: Women's Legislative Caucus Co-Convener (from left) Senators Laura H. Thielen and Rosalyn H. Baker, and Representatives Lauren Matsumoto and Linda Ichiyama inside the new Lactation Room.
"We have wanted to make this room available for a couple years and needed to find the right space," said Senator Rosalyn H. Baker, Co-Convener of the WLC. "The Lactation Room will allow mothers who are breastfeeding to feel safe and comfortable when they visit the Capitol."
Leʻa Minton, Board President of Breastfeeding Hawaiʻi, said the lactation room is critical for allowing mothers to take part in the legislative process.
"Lactation rooms are opening in government building across the country," Minton said. "Mothers have the right to breastfeed or express milk and still take part in the legislative process. We want to thank the Women's Legislative Caucus for making this happen."
Misty Kela'i, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts, performed the blessing ceremony.
Legislators have also provided funds to install diaper changing stations on each floor of the Capitol. That project will provide at least one changing station per floor and is currently being planned.
The bipartisan Women's Legislative Caucus is comprised of women elected to the State House of Representatives and the Senate and established more than 20 years ago to advocate bills on behalf of the women of the state of Hawai'i.