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Senator Larissa Waters becomes first woman to breastfeed in Federal Parliament

The senator followed the historic moment with a call for family-friendly and flexible workplaces, and affordable childcare.

By Candice Mehta-Culjak
Senator Larissa Waters made political history on Tuesday by becoming the first woman to breastfeed a baby on the floor of Federal Parliament.
Senator Waters, the co-deputy leader for the Australian Greens party, breastfed her two-month-old daughter, Alia Joy, in the senate chamber during a vote on a Greens motion.
The 40-year-old, who returned to work after ten weeks of maternity leave this week, shared a photo of the historic moment on Twitter.
"So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more #women & parents in Parli," she tweeted.
The senator followed the image with a message to her Facebook page, calling for "more family-friendly and flexible workplaces, and affordable childcare, for everyone."
Senator Waters pushed last year to extend rules that already allowed breastfeeding in the chamber to allow new mothers -- and fathers -- to care for infants while on the parliament floor.
Speaking with the Courier Mail ahead of her return to work, she explained that she had every intention to make use of the rule with her new baby.
“If she’s hungry, that’s what you do, you feed your baby,” she told the publication.
“I hope she doesn’t squawk her head off too much, but she’s probably going to be better behaved than many of the people in that room.”
She added: “It is important we make all workplaces more family friendly, not just parliament.”
The milestone represents a significant change in parliament policy from eight years ago, when Greens member Sarah Hanson-Young’s daughter, Kora, was infamously taken from her arms removed from the senate floor.
WATCH: Senator Larissa waters makes Australian political history on her first day back from maternity leave.

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