SYDNEY - A breastfeeding senator has made Australian political history by becoming the first woman to nurse her newborn baby in the nation’s parliament.

Greens’ senator Larissa Waters returned to the upper house Senate for the first time Tuesday since giving birth to her second child, and brought her in for a feed during a vote.

“So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more #women & parents in Parli,” she wrote on Twitter.

Being able to breastfeed in the chamber follows new rules introduced last year to create a more a “family friendly” parliament in the wake of what has been described as a “baby boom” among politicians.

Under previous rules, children were technically banned. “In 2003 Kirstie Marshall, a Victorian MP, was ejected from state parliament for breastfeeding her 11-day old baby girl,” Waters added.

“Sometimes it’s difficult not to get disheartened by the sexism women still face in the workplace. But sometimes it pays to look back and see how far we have come.”

Breastfeeding in public has become a hot topic in many countries, and female lawmakers have been criticised for taking their babies to parliamentary sessions.

Last year, a politician in Iceland spoke in parliament while breastfeeding her baby daughter, and infants are allowed in the European and Spanish parliaments.