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This Australian Senator Just Made History For Breastfeeding at Work

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Fact: Women have to breastfeed their babies. Another fact: Women who have to breastfeed often have super important jobs. And yet, another fact: Just because they need to feed their babies doesn't automatically grant them the ability to pause time in a dramatic freeze frame, breastfeed in a (sequestered) private room, and then return to whatever they were doing. And if you need any proof that these moments without a dramatic freeze frame (or a sequestering private room) can happen, just take a look at Australian Senator Larissa Waters, who made history this week when she breastfed in Parliament...and just went on with her job.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Waters was making her return to work after giving birth to her daughter Alia Joy. As is the reality of life, women have babies and need to continue their jobs — and sometimes, breastfeeding in public on the job is what's got to be done.

"So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament!" She tweeted. We need more #women & parents in Parli #auspol"


After all, "Women are going to continue to have babies and if they want to do their job and be at work and look after their baby ... the reality is we are going to have to accommodate that," as Senator Katy Gallagher said to Sky News (via Sydney Morning Herald).

But unfortunately, Australia hasn't always been so accommodating to mothers in the past. Just last year, Australian Parliament started letting women bring in their babies to vote; they had a proxy vote up until then. And in 2009, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young made headlines when her child was literally taken from her when she brought her to Parliament. So it's pretty noteworthy that Parliament just let Waters go on about her job without punishing her for being a human woman with a child.

The catch, of course, is that it will *really* be historic when we're no longer chronicling moments of women breastfeeding in public as groundbreaking moments in history, and that it should become the norm — as in, "this is what happens to a woman when she's a mother, this is life." But in the meantime, it's pretty cool to see one woman making history in Australia nonetheless, and it's even cooler to see Australia's Parliament be more accommodating and friendly to parents. Maybe then, Waters' call in her tweet for more women and parents in Parliament will become a reality.

Photo: Getty Images

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