This Australian Senator Just Made History By Breastfeeding Her Daughter At Work
No big deal, she was just doing her job – on the floor of Parliament.
As of last year, Australian Members of Parliament have been allowed to bring their babies to work and feed them anywhere they like, even on the floor of Parliament. But this week, Senator Larissa Waters became the first MP to actually do it.
Waters brought her two month-old daughter, Alia Joy, with her on Tuesday and took her place in federal Parliament, voting on legislation with her little one latched on and nursing like a champ.
Headlines quickly cropped up across the globe as women celebrated Waters for setting an example that breastfeeding is a normal part of life, and that women shouldn’t have to hide themselves away in order to care for their children.
Waters told the BBC that while she “had hoped to not only be able to feed my baby but to send a message to young women that they belong in the Parliament,” she also thought the flurry of news reports was a sad commentary on society. “It’s frankly ridiculous, really, that feeding one’s baby is international news. Women have been breastfeeding for as long as time immemorial.”
— Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) May 9, 2017
Two years ago, another Australian MP, Kelly O’Dwyer, was asked to consider pumping instead of breastfeeding, because she was missing too much work. At that time, babies were not allowed on the floor of Parliament. The backlash from that helped lead to the new rule, allowing MPs to bring their babies with them to work.
“No member male or female will ever be prevented from participating fully in the operation of the parliament by reason of having the care of a baby,” House Leader Christopher Pyne said at the time. “There is absolutely no reason that rules should remain in place which make life in politics and the parliament more difficult for women.”
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!
Image via Twitter.
Comment: Where’s the most unusual place you’ve ever breastfed your baby?