A breastfeeding incident led to staff training at the Institute for Human Services.
A client said she was told she should leave or cover herself while nursing. On Wednesday, staff members attended training sessions led by Lisa Kimura, executive director of Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii.
HIS Executive Director Connie Mitchell said the client wasn’t prevented from breastfeeding and will not be kicked out. She said it was a misunderstanding.
“I think they (staff members) need to know what the laws say and what it does require us to provide as employer and also as a shelter manager,” Mitchell said. “And (I) think it’s really an opportunity for them to be more sensitive to the needs of moms as well.”
Kimura said Hawaii has the strongest breastfeeding laws in the United States, especially when it comes to employers.
“Women who are breastfeeding mothers are entitled under BOT laws of Hawaii state and federal to breastfeed anytime, anyplace, no cover needed,” Kimura said.
Kimura said the goal is to make sure mothers are given all chances to feed their babies.