Australian Senator Becomes First Woman to Breastfeed in Parliament.

Women MPs breastfeeding their babies in Parliament shines the spotlight on the need for supportive workplaces for new mothers.Australian senator Larissa Waters has made history after she became the first politician to breastfeed her baby in the parliament senate chamber. Larissa posted on Facebook: “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.”It shows a marked change in the Australian parliament’s policy from eight years ago, when Greens member Sarah Hanson-Young had her two-year-old daughter, Kora, taken from her arms and thrown out of the senate.Ms Hanson-Young had not been able to find anyone to look after her young child during a vote in the senate and instead took the infant with her to work. Ironically, western societies are a lot more resistant to breastfeeding in public when compared to more traditional Asian and African communities. In fact, this writer recalls from her childhood how mothers in her home state – the conservative state of Kerala – feeding their babies on public transport as well as in other public places was seen as a normal thing.

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