The Women’s Legislative Caucus on Monday held a blessing and opening ceremony for the first Lactation Room at the Capitol.

The room, located on the second floor, “will provide a comfortable, private space for mothers to nurse their babies and express milk,” according to a press release.

The space is furnished with a table, chair, posters and a rug provided by the state 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 Rep. Linda Ichiyama, Women’s Legislative Caucus Co-Convener.

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 Thielen, Sen. Roz Baker, Rep. Della Au Belatti, Sen. Sharon Moriwaki, Rep. Lisa Kitagawa and Rep. Nadine Nakamura. Hawaii State Legislature

She added: “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.

Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker, another co-convener, said the caucus had worked for several years to find a suitable location.

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,” said the release.

The bipartisan Women’s Legislative Caucus is comprised of women elected to the state Senate and House of Representatives.

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