Won’t it be wonderful when breastfeeding at work isn’t actually newsworthy?
No matter how public your work is?
For now, it certainly is still newsworthy — as Senator Larissa Waters proved last week, when she delivered a motion on black lung disease in Parliament, while breastfeeding her newborn daughter Alia.
The multi-tasking motion followed Alia last month becoming the first baby to be breastfed in the Australian parliament.
You’ve probably seen the pictures: they have gone absolutely everywhere.
— David Sharaz (@DavidSharaz) June 22, 2017
Indeed, Waters has become a bit of a celebrity on the world stage and may now just be one of our most-recognised female politicians outside of Australia.
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
— Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) June 22, 2017
The pictures went viral on social media and have been published in The Telegraph in the UK, in Fortune, India.com, TIME, Nairobi News, Glamour, Minnesota Public Radio, the Irish Times, and Refinery29 — which questioned if she is the first politician ever to deliver a speech while breastfeeding.
Perez Hilton was also impressed, calling Waters a “bad ass” and writing that “A momma’s gotta nurse… and help prevent the spread of black lung disease! … Larissa Waters seamlessly did both.”
However, some publications questioned Waters’ motives, with Starts At 60 asking readers if she’s an equality icon or “shameless showoff.” (I can personally think of much better ways to ‘show off’ — and regularly witness senators doing so).
I look forward to the day a woman breastfeeding in Parliament — or in public or wherever she is and has a baby that’s hungry — is no longer newsworthy. But for now, seeing these pictures going across the globe will help in inspiring more girls and women to pursue a career in politics. They also help in reassuring new mothers that they’re not alone in multi-tasking.
On a side note, in proving it really does take a village to raise a child, check out Greens leader Richard Di Natale entertaining Alia in the Senate.
— Stephanie Peatling (@srpeatling) June 22, 2017