OTTAWA, Canada (TODAY) – Canada’s Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould returned from maternity leave in May as the country’s first federal minister to have a baby while in office.
Now, the barrier-breaking mom is making headlines and receiving praise for breastfeeding her 3-month-old son during a Parliament session this week.
While Canada’s Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor took questions on Tuesday about marijuana legalization, 30-year-old Gould was spotted sitting behind her, nursing little Oliver. When the moment made headlines and garnered positive reactions on social media, the politician took to Twitter to respond.
“No shame in breastfeeding!" Gould tweeted. "Baby’s gotta eat & I had votes. Clearly still work to do… Glad @HoCSpeaker & parl colleagues supportive! :)."
Fellow parents have since flooded Gould’s Twitter and Facebook with praise and thanks for normalizing breastfeeding in public.
"You’re proving that new parents can make it work in the workplace," one Facebook user commented. "That’s an inspiration for employees and employers Canada-wide."
— Karina Gould (@karinagould) June 20, 2018
Another Twitter user wrote: "Thank you @karinagould @HoCSpeaker for normalizing breastfeeding! Women and work and children can all thrive."
Tuesday was not the first time that Gould brought Oliver to work with her; she introduced her little one to her colleagues in May on her first day back on the job, posting a series of heartwarming pictures on Instagram. (This photo below of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cradling Oliver is especially sweet!)
Gould is far from the only woman to make a statement about breastfeeding as the process becomes more accepted in the political realm. Last year, Australian Senator Larissa Waters made history when she breastfed on the Parliament floor.
In a Facebook video Thursday, Gould said she hopes to inspire more women to run for office in the future: "One of the reasons why I ran was to encourage more women to get involved in politics and to hopefully have more women represented in the House of Commons by the time I leave."