After years of women fighting over the stigma of breastfeeding, Senator Larissa Waters and her baby have made history.
Baby Alia Joy, is the first baby to be breastfed at the Australian parliament senate chamber.
Senator Waters, co-deputy leader to the Australian Green Party, went back to work after a 10-week maternity leave. She took full advantage of the breastfeeding regulations and breastfed her baby Alia during a vote for a Greens motion.
I am so proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal parliament! And we need more family-friendly and flexible workplaces, and affordable childcare, for everyone.
Although breastfeeding had already been allowed in the senate chambers, Waters worked hard to extend the rules so that parents would be able to care for their infants while on the senate chambers.
Waters told the Courier Mail, “I hope she doesn’t squawk her head off too much, but she’s probably going to be better behaved than many of the people in that room.”
The new extended regulations came a long way from eight years ago, when in 2009 Greens member Sarah Hanson-Young had her crying two-year old daughter, Kora, taken from her arms and unceremoniously thrown out of the chambers.
Waters tweeted of Kirstie Marshall, who was also ejected from Parliament in 2003.
Here is Kirstie Marshall before she was ejected from the Vic Parliament for breastfeeding her 11-day old bub. Look how far we have come! pic.twitter.com/LrzZcIFBXq
— Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) May 10, 2017
‘If she’s hungry, that’s what you do, you feed your baby,’ said Senator Waters.
In changing the parenting regulations to make Parliament more family friendly, Waters hopes more Australians will be encouraged to join, so that communities will have proper representation.