Lawmaker breastfeeds while addressing Parliament and no one bats an eye
An Icelandic lawmaker is gaining notice for doing something tons of moms do every day — breastfeeding her infant. Only she did it while addressing Parliament, without missing a beat.
Because moms are total bad-asses.
According to The Huffington Post, Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir, the MP for Iceland’s Independence Party, was sitting in her seat during Parliamentary proceedings. While sitting, she breastfed her six-week-old baby girl. Konráðsdóttir explained to the Icelandic press that she thought she was getting a bit of a break and hadn’t expected to be called back up again.
“She was hungry, and I wasn’t expecting to speak, so I started feeding her. Then a representative asked a question about a proposal I had put forward, which I had to answer. I could choose to yank her off and leave her crying with another representative, or I could bring her with me and I thought that would be less disruptive.”
And every mom everywhere nods. What parent in their right mind would choose to upset the apple cart if a baby is quietly feeding and won’t exactly be thrilled if forced to stop? While she could’ve handed her daughter over to someone else in order to do her job, Konráðsdóttir knew it would only cause more disruption as that someone else doesn’t have a substitute breast to feed her. She she took the infant to the podium and breastfeed while addressing all of Parliament for a good 30 seconds.
The most striking part of this video is that of the members of Parliament who are visible, none seem to notice or care that she’s doing her job while nursing. And that’s because this isn’t the first time Konráðsdóttir, a mother of three, brought her baby to work. “She has been with me at the Parliament almost since she was born so my fellow MPs are used to her. She has attended numerous committee meetings with me over the final days of this Parliament. Usually she is very calm and when we cast our votes she is sound asleep. So there have never been any incidents before.”
While at first, it might sound odd that a mom has been working since the birth of her child, it’s safe to say this is not the same as going back to a traditional job. It isn’t as though anyone can substitute for someone in her position and Parliament won’t stop because one member had a baby, so she’s doing what she has to do.
Of course, it helps that this seems like an utterly mom-friendly work environment. Konráðsdóttir gets to take her baby with her and breastfeed on-demand. She is also seemingly surrounded by supportive co-workers. A brief maternity leave is a lot more doable with those factors in place.
Contrast all of this with America — where a woman might catch grief for breastfeeding at an Applebee’s, let alone in front of a room full of lawmakers — and it’s easy to see why Iceland is kicking ass at being a place where women should want to live. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index rankings, Iceland is on a seven-year streak of being the best country in the world to be a woman. The United States is currently ranked at number 28.
We have a long way to go, but hopefully, stories like this making the news will inspire more acceptance here for moms doing their thing in public, whether it’s on a park bench or at work. We should all feel so confident doing the most natural thing in the world.