Debate rages over breastfeeding mums after Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer told to ‘express more’
New mum and Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer is today at the centre of a debate about flexibility in the workplace to support breastfeeding women.
There are reports the rising star in the Liberal Party was encouraged to express more milk for four-month-old daughter Olivia to avoid interfering with parliamentary commitments.
Ms O’Dwyer recently missed a speaking engagement because she had just started breastfeeding.
Neil Mitchell said it couldn’t be a reason for not doing her job.
3AW Mornings callers were divided as to whether she should have been better supported.
But Australian Breastfeeding Association CEO Rebecca Naylor said it was illegal to discriminate against a breastfeeding woman, and workplaces needed to be flexible.
‘When you think about this, the Parliament is Kelly’s workplace,’ she said.
‘It’s really up to Kelly and the workplace to negotiate what it is that works best in that workplace, in order to support Kelly in what she wants to do.’
Ms Naylor said often women were weaning their breastfed babies earlier than they wanted.
LISTEN: Breastfeeding body responds to debate
Speaking on Sky News, Ms O’Dwyer said it was possible to have it all.
‘I think it’s important to understand nursing mothers can do the job of a parliamentarian and they can also do the job being a mum as well, they can balance both,’ she said.
Former Victorian MP Maree Davenport called to talk about her experience.
She was the youngest woman elected in Victoria and the first to have a baby while serving.
LISTEN: Former MP rejects claims Ms O’Dwyer was simply disorganised