Icelandic Lawmaker Breastfeeds Her Baby While Addressing Parliament & It’s Empowering
Without missing a beat between her career and motherhood, an Icelandic lawmaker breastfed her baby while addressing Parliament and it’s incredibly empowering. Earlier this week, Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir — a new mother and member of the Icelandic parliament for the center-right Iceland Independence Party — had to step up to the podium to defend a bill that she had put forward, while she was in the middle of breastfeeding her infant daughter. But this did not deter the politician from doing either of her jobs and, while exuding confidence, she continued to nurse her baby while she delivered her speech on an immigration project.
"She was hungry, and I wasn't expecting to speak, so I started feeding her," Konráðsdóttir said, according to a translation by EuroNews. "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."
Even though Iceland is more relaxed than most countries about women breastfeeding in public, something wonderful to take away from this story is that not one person appeared to be distracted or disturbed by what Konráðsdóttir had to do at that moment for her 6-week-old baby.
"She has been with me at the Parliament almost since she was born so my fellow MPs are used to her," Konráðsdóttir said, according to EuroNews. "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."
Considering how business on that day appeared to just proceed as usual, Konráðsdóttir's decision proves that progress towards squashing an antiquated breastfeeding stigma is possible and is in motion — even though moms around the world still continue to be shamed for doing one of the most natural things in the world in public.
And Konráðsdóttir — the chair of the Icelandic Parliament’s Judicial Affairs and Education Committee — is clearly aware of this, proving breastfeeding bullies that a powerful working mom is completely capable of fulfilling her responsibilities of her political life as well as her duties as a mother.
The politician later told AFP that breastfeeding is "the most natural thing in the world. It’s like any job, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do."