Australian MP makes history by breastfeeding while addressing Parliament
Mum and Aussie MP Larissa Waters just made history by nursing her tot during a speech. These photos of the powerful moment are incredible!
Mums are pros at multitasking, and Larissa Waters is no exception. The Australian senator has become the first mum to deliver a speech while breastfeeding her daughter in Parliament.
Cradling her 14-week-old baby Alia Joy in both arms, a white towel over her shoulder, the Queensland mum eloquently passed a senate motion on black lung disease.
Talk about a powerful image of womanhood.
Naturally, her colleagues couldn’t resist cooing over her little bub.
Waters later tweeted an adorable tribute to the historic moment. “First time I’ve had to move a Senate motion while breastfeeding! And my partner in crime moved her own motion just before mine, bless her”.
In an email statement to Mashable, Waters said that she did it for two reasons. Firstly, well, little Alia was hungry. Secondly, she wanted the bold move to empower women who feel excluded from places of power.
“Women have always worked and reared children, whether that work was paid in the workplace or unpaid at home,” she said. “I hope it helps to normalise breastfeeding and remove any vestige of stigma against breastfeeding a baby when they are hungry.”
“I hope it sends a message to young women and mothers that they belong in places of power like the parliament.”
It isn’t the first time that this supermum has made waves for breaking down workplace barriers to breastfeeding.
Last month, Waters made history for being the first mum to breastfeed in Parliament. She was the first to benefit from a revolutionary family-friendly rules change, which allowed breastfeeding MPs to bring their children into Parliament.
She later wrote on Twitter, “So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more
#women & parents in Parli”.
Women and mums, especially breastfeeding mums, haven’t always received such a warm welcome in Parliament. In 2015, new mum and Australian MP Kelly O’Dwyer was told to “express more breast milk”, in case she missed parliamentary duties.
Though nursing mums are, in fact, perfectly capable of balancing motherhood and career responsibilities, some are still slow to process this. And far too many competent women have suffered in their professional ambitions as a result.
So more power to mums like Waters and their supporters in their long fight to make change happen. As Labor MP Tony Burke put it: “It’ll be a long time, and possibly never, before this job is truly family-friendly, but this is a significant way of trying to improve.”
Here’s hoping that Waters is the first of many, many mums who’ll be able to work and breastfeed confidently. And let’s hope that Singapore’s smart, capable mums will one day be able to do the same thing in Parliament.