A 2-month-old made history in Australia – becoming the first baby to be breastfed in Parliament.
The little girl, named Alia Joy, is the newborn daughter of Australian Senator Larissa Waters.
Waters, co-deputy leader of Australia’s Green party, returned from maternity leave Tuesday, with her second daughter in tow.
When Alia Joy was hungry, she fed her.
“So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament!,” the Australian senator tweeted. “We need more #women & parents in Parli.”
The Australian Parliament changed its rules last year to allow female lawmakers to nurse their infants in the chamber. Before that, children were banned from the chamber. And breastfeeding mothers were given a proxy vote.
Waters, who was influential in the rule change, said in November, “If we want more young women in Parliament, we must make the rules more family friendly to allow new mothers and new fathers to balance their parliamentary and parental duties.”
On International Woman’s Day, while Waters was still on maternity leave, the senator announced the birth of her daughter and hinted about what was to come.
What a fitting day to announce the arrival of my second daughter, Alia Joy! She has a head of hair like an 80s pop star and likes to eat constantly – so she is definitely her mother’s daughter.
I’ll be having a few more weeks off but will soon be back in parliament with this little one in tow. She is even more inspiration for continuing our work to address gender inequality and stem dangerous climate change. (And yes, if she’s hungry, she will be breastfed in the Senate chamber)
I want to thank the midwives at the birth centre at the Royal, my lovely GP, and the Qld Ambulance Service when we had a scare – they were all incredible. Our public health system is excellent and must be fought for and protected!
Alia isn’t the first baby to be fed during political proceedings.
In 2016, a politician in Iceland breastfed her one-month-old child while speaking at the national parliament.
In what the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service called a first, Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir, an MP for the Independence Party, fed her baby during a debate on the proposed Foreigners Act.