Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir, from the centre-right Independence Party, nursed her 6-week-old daughter at the podium of the Alþingi parliament on Wednesday, while explaining her vote on new immigration legislation to colleagues.
Although the northern European country has an extremely relaxed attitude towards breastfeeding in public, it was the first time an MP had fed her child while actually addressing parliament.
Ms Konráðsdóttir, who is chair of the parliamentary Judicial Affairs and Education Committee, said taking her daughter to the podium with her was the least disruptive option.
According to The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, MP Svandís Svavarsdóttir of the Left-Green Movement, offered to hold the baby, who was born 1 September, while her mother spoke about a proposed new Foreigners Act.
But Ms Konráðsdóttir reportedly declined the offer.
“She was hungry and I had not expected to go to the pulpit," she said. "Then another MP was giving statements on a bill that I put forward on the behalf of the Judicial Affairs Committee, to which I had to respond. So I either had to tear the baby girl of me and leave her crying with the MP sitting next to me or just take her with me and I thought it would cause less disturbance to take her with me”.
She added: “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."
The baby, who is Ms Konráðsdóttir third child, recently attended the Arctic Circle conference with her mother, and a meeting at the University of Iceland to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Reykjavík Summit.
Breastfeeding in public controversies
Breastfeeding in public controversies
A woman has sparked a heated debate among parents after she revealed that she breastfeeds both her and her friend's son. Jessica Colletti, from Pennsylvania, said nursing Charlie Interrante's son “seemed like the natural thing to do” because she was already breastfeeding her son. Colletti told the Mama Bean parenting blog that she asked permission to nurse Interrante’s son when she began looking after him, after they met at a photoshoot for new mothers. Interrante agreed as her son had not taken to formula milk
New Hampshire State Rep. Josh Moore said on Facebook that men should be allowed to grab the nipples of breastfeeding mothers if the law banning women exposing their breasts did not pass
When Gemma Colley's photo of her son with fake tan on his fake after she breastfeed him went viral, she also saw that no parent is alone when they make a silly mistake. Over 100,000 people liked and 40,000 people shared Ms Colley’s photo of her son’s sleepy face with fake tan encircling his mouth and nose, after she posted it to the Unmumsy Mum Facebook page
A candid image of a mother breastfeeding her young child while using the toilet has divided parents online, as some argue it’s an honest depiction of parenthood, while others have labelled it “disgusting”
The exclusive Claridge’s hotel has been widely criticised for asking a woman to cover herself with a “ridiculous shroud” while breastfeeding her three-month-old daughter. Lousie Burns said she burst into tears when staff members at the five-star venue asked her to cover herself and her baby with an oversized napkin in order to avoid “causing offence” to other guests
An Australian café has been praised for sticking up for a breastfeeding mother after a customer told her to cover up. Jessica-Anne Allen, owner of Cheese and Biscuits Café in Queensland, Australia, has described how she was approached by a male customer in the café to complain that he was upset by a woman in the coffee shop breastfeeding her child nearby. The customer asked the café owner, 29, to tell the mother to cover up. When Mrs Allen refused to do so, he took matters into his own hands and challenged the woman himself. Staff at the café then asked the man to leave
A woman who claimed a Primark security guard had forcibly removed her child while she was breastfeeding has admitted to perverting the course of justice. Caroline Starmer sparked a series of headlines after claiming on Facebook that a store guard had taken her nine-month-old daughter Paige away from her. The mother from Leicester then repeated her claims in a number of interviews, before Primark denied the incident and handed CCTV over to the police to show there was no evidence to support the allegations. Appearing in Leicester Crown Court, she admitted the charge of perverting the course of justice by not telling the truth
Pope Francis has become an unlikely advocate for public breastfeeding, by encouraging mothers to feed their babies in the Sistine Chapel. During a ceremony in Vatican City on Sunday, the Pope baptised 32 babies and told their mothers: “If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice, because they are the most important people here”
Facebook has changed its community guidelines to allow users to post photos of breastfeeding. The change comes as the wide-ranging #FreeTheNipple online campaign has built pace in its attack against guidelines used by social media websites to regulate nudity – from photos of breastfeeding to topless photos post by singer Rihanna’s on her now defunct Instagram account. Facebook’s Community Standards, which outline what users are allowed to post, never included a outright ban on photos of breastfeeding
The manager of a public swimming pool at the Lux Park centre in Liskeardhas been forced to apologise after he told a mother to stop breastfeeding her son by the waterside. 23-year-old Rebecaa Hough of Torpoint, Cornwall, was feeding 10-month-old Max a few steps from the main pool, when the manager told her to carry on in the changing rooms in case the infant was sick into the water. She was also told that she should not to return for half an hour to ensure the milk was fully digested
A Conservative MP has claimed allowing women to breastfeed in the House of Commons chamber would expose politicians to “tabloid ridicule”. Sir Simon Burns, a former transport minister, spoke on what he called a “controversial subject” in a debate in making Westminster more family-friendly
Breastfeeding in public has been the subject of heated debate in many counties, but the Icelandic MP described it as “the most natural thing in the world".
She told AFP being a mother is like any job: "you've got to do what you've got to do."
In the UK, which has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding worldwide, MPs are currently not allowed to breastfeed in the chamber of the House of Commons.
A year-long independent review into tackling sexism in parliament, which was released in July, found the rules should be changed to allow women MPs to breastfeed in the chamber during debates.
Senior DUP politician Sammy Wilson criticised the suggestion, saying it would be exhibitionist for women to breastfeed in public areas of parliament. But his comments prompted angry backlash.
In the report, the late MP Jo Cox said: "We should take on the popular press if it is critical and say, 'this is what women do; get over it'. It is good for children, so we should advocate it."Reuse content