Icelandic MP breastfeeds baby while speaking in parliament

Icelandic MP Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir / Facebook
Icelandic MP Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir / Facebook

An MP in Iceland has been filmed breastfeeding her six-week-old daughter while speaking in parliament.

Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir was speaking to the House on proposed new immigration legislation when she began to breastfeed her child, saying, "She was hungry".

She declined an offer from her colleague to hold the child while speaking to the House.

Ms Konráðsdóttir said it was "the most natural thing in the world" and her colleagues were used to seeing the child in parliament with her - although this is the first time she has been breastfed in the House.

"She was hungry and I had not expected to go to the pulpit... I either had to tear the baby girl off me and leave her crying... or just take her with me."

She believed it would be less disruptive to her fellow MPs if she brought her child up with her.

Iceland is very relaxed when it comes to having children present in situations such as this. Ms Konráðsdóttir said she has regularly brought her child to parliament, as well as to the Arctic Circle conference.

"Usually [the baby] is very calm and when we cast our votes she is sound asleep... there have never been any incidents before."

Internationally, however, public breastfeeding is a regular source of discussion. In the UK, MPs are not allowed to breastfeed in the chamber of the House of Commons, prompting a review into parliamentary sexism.

The review found that the rules should be changed to permit female MPs to breastfeed in parliament if needed, which sparked criticism from some MPs. 

Ms Konráðsdóttir's response to critics is simple - as a mother, "you've got to do what you've got to do."