This Badass Australian Senator Just Became the First Woman to Breastfeed In Parliament
"We can be both parliamentarians and moms," said senator Larissa Waters in response to the decision to breastfeed her infant daughter at work.
When it comes to the normalization of breastfeeding in public, it's no secret that opinions are strong and polarizing. But despite the controversy, Australian senator Larissa Waters took the debate to work, which just so happens to be Parliament. (Related: This Photo of a Mom Breastfeeding After a Triathlon Is Everything) Waters, who is the co-leader of the Australian government's left-wing party, just came back to work from a 10-week long maternity leave after having her daughter. But rather than leaving her child at home, the new mom decided to bring her to the senate chambers and breastfed during a vote-making her the first woman to do so-ever. It was just last year that the Australian parliament passed a rule, allowing members to breastfeed during meetings, according to The Courier Mail, which is why Waters was surprised her action is receiving so much attention.
"Well I think it's slightly ridiculous that feeding one's baby is international news-women have been breastfeeding for as long as time immemorial," Waters, told BBC in an interview. "But in another sense, this is the first time this has happened in our Parliament in 116 years, so it's definitely world history-making."
The groundbreaking moment was about more than just feed her baby, she said. "I also to send a message to young women that they belong in the Parliament, and that they can be both Parliamentarians and be moms."
Thankfully, Waters decision to breastfeed at work (and in such a fancy "office", we might add) was welcomed by most, except for a few negative comments from "the more elderly members of the Senate, who, perhaps, haven't entered this century yet," she told the UK news outlet. Shade.
Waters later took to social media and shared a photo of her history-making-moment and was overwhelmed by the positive feedback.
"Lots of women thanking me for doing it, not just for normalizing breastfeeding, which is itself an important issue because there's still a little bit of stigma in some corners of society," she said. "But it's been lovely to hear from the young women and the other moms who've said, 'this is a role model for my daughter or for myself, to know that we can aspire to this sort of occupation.'"