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Australian Senator Makes Breastfeeding History

Jennifer Mattern

We’re always thrilled to hear about women in the public eye who aren’t afraid to normalize breastfeeding. One Australian senator just became the very first politician to nurse her baby while on the clock in Australia’s federal Parliament — nice!

Larissa Waters is co-deputy leader of Australia’s Green Party. Her second daughter, Alia Joy, was born in March. On Tuesday, CNN reported that Waters returned from her maternity leave with Alia in tow and nursed her while she worked at her Parliament seat.

This victory is particularly sweet for Waters, who helped advance legislation to allow Australian parliamentarians caring for children to have their kids with them on the Parliament floor. Before that February 2016 rule change, no children were allowed in chambers — so parliamentarian parents often missed important government matters and were forced to hand over their voting power to other members.

More: 20 photos of moms breastfeeding in public without the world falling apart

This may not seem like a big deal, but that rule change followed — eight years later — an incident in which Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s toddler daughter was forcibly removed from her mother’s arms (oh, yes) and promptly banished from the Senate. Pretty awful government move for any civilized nation, no?

Larissa Waters tweeted a picture of her nursing Alia on Tuesday and boldly called for the inclusion of more women and parents in Parliament:

But Waters is a pragmatist at heart. The Queensland senator said there’s nothing complicated about the new rule, it’s just common sense. “If she’s hungry, that’s what you do, you feed your baby,” she said to the Courier-Mail. Yup, we’re on board with that kind of thinking for sure.

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