Larissa Waters: Australian senator makes history, breastfeeds in parliament
Larissa Waters: Australian senator makes history, breastfeeds in parliament

Larissa Waters becomes first woman to breastfeed in Australia’s federal parliament.

For her first political appearance since giving birth, Larissa Waters brought along her 10-week-old daughter, Alia Joy, and proceeded to breastfeed her from her desk. The Greens senator took advantage of the recently-changed laws which now allow women to breastfeed inside the chambers (and also allows them to vote by proxy if they cannot leave their chair).

Larissa Waters took to Twitter after Parliament, tweeting, “So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more #women & parents in Parli #auspol.”

She had previously eluded to nursing in the chambers when she posted to Facebook in March, announcing the birth of her daughter. On International Women’s Day, she wrote, “What a fitting day to announce the arrival of my second daughter, Alia Joy! She has a head of hair like an 80s pop star and likes to eat constantly – so she is definitely her mother’s daughter.”

“I’ll be having a few more weeks off but will soon be back in parliament with this little one in tow. She is even more inspiration for continuing our work to address gender inequality and stem dangerous climate change. (And yes, if she’s hungry, she will be breastfed in the Senate chamber),” the post read.

Larissa and Alia’s moment was made even more poignant following the incident with MP Kirstie Marshall in 2003, when she was ejected from the Lower House chamber for breastfeeding her daughter, Charlotte. Her peers noted that, since 11-day-old Charlotte was not an elected Member of the House, she would not be permitted to sit in.

Let’s hope we see many more female politicians feel encouraged to breastfeed their babies whenever—and wherever—they see fit.

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