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Thursday, July 24, 2014         

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Mother can breast-feed in open, IHS official says

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher / Associated Press

POSTED:


A Honolulu homeless shelter won't take action against a mother who is refusing to cover up while breast-feeding or use a private room, its executive director said Tuesday.

Karen Penley, 27, wants to nurse her 9-month-old son, Nakana, out in the open at the Institute for Human Services shelter, where she's been living for about three weeks. Nakana, who is exclusively breast-fed, doesn't tolerate being under a nursing cover, and the room the shelter provides is cramped and hot, Penley said.

Staff members asked her to cover up or nurse in private because of complaints from residents that she was too exposed, said Executive Director Connie Mitchell, who disputes that the room offered is hot and small.

"In Hawaii there's an expectation that you are discreet," Mitchell said. But she couldn't describe the level of exposure because she hasn't seen Penley nursing.

Penley said she nurses by pulling her shirt up or pulling her straps down, depending on what she's wearing.

"I never take my shirt off," she said. "I've never had the nipple exposed or anything like that."

After a staff member told her to cover up while she was nursing Nakana on steps outside the shelter, Penley decided to contact Hawaii News Now because she felt the shelter was violating her right to breast-feed.

"I've always known the law about breast-feeding, and it's against the law to refuse services to you if you're breast-feeding," she said.

Hawaii's law says it's discriminatory "to deny, or attempt to deny, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodation of a place of public accommodations to a woman because she is breast-feeding a child."

There are no laws requiring nursing mothers to cover up, said Deb­rah Trankel, a nurse and lactation consultant at the Queen's Medical Center.

Mitchell said the private, nonprofit shelter and social services agency isn't violating the law because the organization is not stopping anyone from breast-feeding.

"We have nothing against breast-feeding," she said. "It's not about rights. It's about responsibility to help the whole community feel they are in a safe place and comfortable place."

Penley said she just wants to nurse in a way that's comfortable for her child.

"For me it's all about his needs. Not me, not the people around me," she said. "Their comfort is not my problem."

Penley won't be asked to leave for not abiding by the shelter's request, Mitchell said.

"If she wants to breast-feed, she can breast-feed," she said. "We're not kicking her out."






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PMINZ wrote:
Well the feeding Mom, better be willing to endure the surrounding males Oggleing the bared bussom. That is gonna happen. Like it ir not!
on July 2,2014 | 03:27AM
soundofreason wrote:
I'd just grab my cheek and pull it back and forth making a sloshing sound - then we'll see who can make who more uncomfortable.
on July 2,2014 | 06:08AM
soundofreason wrote:
From other article...."“I want all breast feeding moms to know they’re not doing anything wrong,” Penley told Hawaii News Now. “We shouldn’t have to cover because we’re not being perverts. We’re feeding our children and our children deserve it.”

Since you brought it up Karen, let's talk about other things that they deserve that have nothing to do with making those around you uncomfortable.

A stable home environment and decisions by their mother that keep them in one. Mother of four, now, is it?


on July 2,2014 | 06:14AM
kiragirl wrote:
If what you said is true, she is misguided. These entitlement people drain our tax pool, contribute nothing to society yet complain. Disgusting.
on July 2,2014 | 07:46AM
false wrote:
WHY ALL THE HATE?
on July 2,2014 | 06:22PM
soundofreason wrote:
"We’re feeding our children and our children deserve it.”>>>>>>>All of this tension seemed to flare up within just a couple of weeks after the State of Hawaii child enforcement bureau served her with papers for her not doing what her child "deserves". She's awful quick to point her fingers at others. Rocks....glass houses and all that. And is she homeless because of the TRO filed against father #3 or father #4. Seems like her children "deserve" a more thorough mate analysis by mom. No divorce on file though. Guess you'd have to marry someone to get divorced. Best to only make light commitments like only having children together. Plus, that way, it won't hit your entitlements. Somebody best be looking at that too. Just need to think twice before calling up news channels on a self righteous basis of what you expect from others. She's got bigger problems SHE should be dealing with.
on July 2,2014 | 06:41AM
false wrote:
HORRIBLE AND WEAK AD HOMINEM ARGUMENT. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH BREASTFEEDING A BABY IN A HOMELESS FAMILY SHELTER? I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY ALL THE HATE FOR THE WOMAN? HMMM, LET ME GUESS WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE....
on July 2,2014 | 09:09PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Where is the shelter and when is she feeding? I want to know for scientific purposes only.
on July 2,2014 | 06:49AM
soundofreason wrote:
Should I find out, I'll keep you abreast.
on July 2,2014 | 07:08AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Keep it close to your chest will you? We don't want any kind of riff raff showing up and and blocking our view.
on July 2,2014 | 07:17AM
MamaKin wrote:
You guys are funny. LOL!
on July 2,2014 | 09:21AM
false wrote:
THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE WITH SENSE OF HUMOR AMONG ALL THE HATERS!
on July 2,2014 | 06:23PM
Masami wrote:
Funny how this story continues for another day. Yesterday's comments from readers turned into a peeing match with some supporting this mother and some not. I commented about being respectful of the rules of this shelter as she's a guest who's stayed there 3 weeks already and got attacked by some other readers. Found this on the Hawaii News Now site and it sums up exactly my thoughts. "Latesha Stephens I think that it is so sad how so many people these days are so quick to jump to conclusions and start screaming about their 'Rights' without thinking things through. Please try to understand that no one was denying her a right to feed her baby! They asked her politely to please keep herself modest in doing it or move to a more private area. That's it! It was wrong of her to stubbornly start insisting on her 'Rights'. We all also have a right to decency. No, I don't have anything against breastfeeding! I nursed all nine of my children- modestly!"
on July 2,2014 | 07:41AM
Bdpapa wrote:
You got it right!
on July 2,2014 | 10:31AM
false wrote:
JUST BECAUSE YOU WERE MODEST, DOESN'T MEAN EVERYBODY HAS TO BE BECAUSE YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE AT SEEING A BREAST. PLEASE RECALL THAT HAWAIIANS USED TO GO TOPLESS AND THE EUROPEANS CAME AND COVERED EVERYBODY FROM HEAD TO TOE BECAUSE THEY WERE VERY UNCOMFORTABLE ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY AND CONCERNED ABOUT DISCREETNESS. GO LIVE YOUR LIFE LIKE YOU WANT TO AND DON'T GO AROUND TELLING SOMEBODY ELSE HOW THEY SHOULD BE LIVING BECAUSE LOOKING AT THEM MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE.
on July 2,2014 | 06:27PM
soundofreason wrote:
There is an established "norm". Follow it.
on July 2,2014 | 07:23PM
false wrote:
WHAT IS THIS, THE STATE OF UTAH?
on July 2,2014 | 09:06PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
It's all about class and dignity and common sense. Ms Penley has none.
on July 2,2014 | 08:10AM
Tanuki wrote:
What is so discriminating about being discreet? It is a right to pee but not in front of everyone.
on July 2,2014 | 08:44AM
Bully wrote:
She should go back to the mainland. We shouldn't allow the other states to send their welfare recipients to Hawaii.
on July 2,2014 | 08:45AM
DanLBoom wrote:
Karen___Breast feeding is a Natural thing ,however a little privacy/discretion in public would be the decent thing to do. Because,whether you want admit it or NOT, there are a lot of perves out there..so be careful. IMUA
on July 2,2014 | 09:17AM
4watitsworth wrote:
The article states "she nurses by pulling her shirt up or pulling her straps down, depending on what she's wearing" but the photo shows neither. If she pulls her shirt up, she can cover her breast which would be more discreet. By exposing her breast, couldn't she be cited for indecent exposure? I know she won't be cited because of the reason but that shouldn't matter.
on July 2,2014 | 09:39AM
nalogirl wrote:
She is getting all kinds of free stuff and she has the audacity to complain about being asked to cover up? Why does she even have an infant when she is in a shelter, she is a loser and a drain on the taxpayers. People who get stuff for free should not complain. Get some birth control, please!
on July 2,2014 | 09:50AM
soundofreason wrote:
This is the "get next husband" plan of attraction/father of my NEXT kid plan.
on July 2,2014 | 07:25PM
CFooks wrote:
So this story even made it to The Huffington Post (click the link below) which even included a video. Funny how her comments in print and on video are not quite consistent. Interestingly enough after you click the link you will see directly above the title of the article is a link to "How To Breastfeed Appropriately". Some people are so self-centered and entitled that they do not realize that not only do they have rights but so does everyone around them. Common courtesy is just not at all common in today's society.
on July 2,2014 | 11:25AM
false wrote:
I THINK YOU ARE SELF CENTERED AND ENTITLED TO THINK YOU SHOULD CONTROL A WOMAN WHO IS BREASTFEEDING HER BABY IN A WOMAN'S SHELTER JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE IT.
on July 2,2014 | 06:42PM
CFooks wrote:
Sorry I forgot to add the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/01/homeless-mom-faces-discrimination-for-breastfeeding_n_5548351.html
on July 2,2014 | 11:26AM
konag43 wrote:
what are we becoming, a third world counrty , cover up lady its common sense when you get raped for showing your breast to the world don't cry. have some decency and class lady. kick her out. after all she's living free on our tax dollars and contributions follow the rules lady
on July 2,2014 | 02:52PM
false wrote:
HELLO! WE LIVE IN HAWAII WHERE WE HAVE ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE AND APPRECIATE ALL KINDS OF WAYS OF LIFE AND TRY NOT TO JUDGE PEOPLE FOR LIVING THE WAY THEY DO AS LONG AS IT'S NOT HURTING ANYONE. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH SHOWING SOME BOOBS TO BREASTFEED A BABY? WHAT IS THIS? UTAH?
on July 2,2014 | 06:57PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
A whole bunch of sanctimonious haters here. I just have to LOL. Stop wasting your time griping about such pettiness. Do community work or find a just cause and support it!!! I pity you guys.
on July 2,2014 | 08:22PM
Kapuna wrote:
It's a women's shelter for God's sake. Next, they will be saying women are not allowed in women's bathrooms? ridiculous rules are anti-family and anti-children. the women shelter's should place a priority on women with infants and children, single women should not be allowed in if they are NOT breast feeding or do NOT have infants or children. The complainers can go somewhere else.
on July 2,2014 | 03:35PM
false wrote:
CONGRATULATIONS TO DA WOMAN. SHAME ON THOSE WHO FEEL THEY NEED TO CONTROL A WOMAN FOR BREASTFEEDING HER KEIKI. IS IT ALL BECAUSE THEY MIGHT FEEL A BIT UNCOMFORTABLE BY SEEING A BREAST. FOR GOD'S SAKE, THIS IS ALSO A WOMAN'S SHELTER WITH FAMILIES. HELLO, WHERE IS DA ALOHA?
on July 2,2014 | 06:20PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
false, agree.
on July 2,2014 | 08:22PM
soundofreason wrote:
Tired of the "victims" of their own decisions.
on July 2,2014 | 07:21PM
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