Nebraska state senator praised for breastfeeding baby on Legislature floor: 'Legislate like a mom'

mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do — even if it means breastfeeding her baby on the floor of the Nebraska Legislature.

As the Omaha World-Herald news service reports, a Nebraska lawmaker and mother of three went into multitasking mama mode when bad weather threatened to wreak havoc on her schedule. Rather than risk missing floor debates or committee hearings — or let her child down — state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh brought her 6-month-old baby in and breastfed him during Legislature proceedings.

“I didn’t put a lot of thought into it,” Cavanaugh, who represents Omaha’s Sixth District, told the newspaper. “He’s my third, so it’s kind of on autopilot at this point. Normally when I’m nursing, I’m usually multitasking. I wanted to hear the floor debate that was happening, so I just sat down at my desk because that was more comfortable than standing off to the side.

“Barrett won’t take formula — I say he’s a gentleman of discerning taste — and I don’t have an oversupply of milk, so he had to come with me,” she added. 

Cavanaugh shared a photo of her mommy moment on Facebook, confirming that she is the first Nebraska state senator to nurse on the Legislature floor. She proudly added the hashtag #legislatelikeamom to the post, which is being hailed for showing the realities of working mom life.

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Celebrities who have spoken out about breastfeeding
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Celebrities who have spoken out about breastfeeding
And now this #pumpupthejams #mombreak

“Everyone’s fine with [Miley Cyrus’] nipples being out, but if I post a picture of me breastfeeding it’s like, you know, craziness," she once said, according to The Huffington Post

"You know, I think people are more comfortable sexualizing breasts than relating them to what they were made for, which is feeding another human. It’s crazy.” 

#JamesKnight is now 8 months old! These are the moments a mother lives for. Breastfeeding should not be taboo- and bottle feeding should not be judged- it's ALL fun for the whole family:)
"What would I do without this beauty squad after the 15 hours flying and only 3 hours of sleep..." she captioned her photo. In 2010, the model was slammed for her comments on breastfeeding and mothers.  
According to Today, Pink almost got into a fight over the remark someone made about her nursing. “I think breast-feeding is healthy and natural and it’s a comfort to my baby,” she explained. 

“It should be a choice for everyone. I don’t like the idea of breastfeeding being forced on anyone or anyone feeling guilty,” Olivia Wilde, mom to Otis and Daisy, explained to People.

 “[Breastfeeding] is not easy — it’s messy. Like 90 percent of the time you are soaked in milk. It is a difficult thing. But it is, personally for me, a great experience.”

Victoria's Secret Candice Swanepoel posted in 2016: Many women today are shamed for breastfeeding in public, or even kicked out of public places for feeding their children. I have been made to feel the need to cover up and somewhat shy to feed my baby in public places but strangely feel nothing for the topless editorials I've done in the name of art..? The world has been desensitized to the sexualization of the breast and to violence on tv...why should it be different when it comes to breastfeeding? -Breastfeeding is not sexual it's natural- Those who feel it is wrong to feed your child in public need to get educated on the benefits breastfeeding has on mother and child and intern on society as a whole. 💪🏼💙 👫👭 #mothernature
To People, Alanis Morissette said: “We live in a very funny society, a society that on one hand says that we’re just a sexual object … and then when this other sort of otherworldly, biological wind-in-the-hair goddess power comes out in the form of feeding our children in a very beautiful, animal way, that can actually be more intimidating.” 
"Breastfeeding is just obviously really convenient with my lifestyle. I don’t know when I’m going to stop [nursing]. I’ll just keep going while I can — he’s getting his teeth so it is a little bit scary. He’s bitten me a few times!Gwen Stefani said in 2007 when nursing Kingston, according to People
"Honestly, I took that picture for David because we were in bed snuggling and he was at work … There should be no stigma — it’s a very beautiful and natural thing," Liv Tyler said, according to People, in 2016.
Molly Sims captioned a photo of her breastfeeding her third child, Grey: "BREASTFEEDING=JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE! 💙 " 
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“The only thing shocking about this is that you’re the first one!!” read one comment. “Way to go! Legislate like a mother!!!”

“I nursed my daughter during a tour of the state capitol, but this takes it to a whole other level,” added a fellow mom. “Congratulations and thank you for helping to normalize breastfeeding and supporting the rights of mothers!!”

“Great job on balancing motherhood and your position as an elected official,” wrote a supporter. “I bet your district is really proud of you!”

“You are a QUEEN!” raved another commenter. “Thank you so much for giving 100% to your baby AND your job!”

Cavanaugh’s breastfeeding of “bipartisan Barrett” has also inspired her to make it easier for other nursing mothers in her state.

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9 Weird (But True) Food Laws in America

What can't you eat at parks in Beech Grove, Indiana? And what unusual item are you forbidden to use to catch fish in Tennessee? These nine food laws might get a chuckle out of you.

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How to Never Eat Fried Chicken

In Gainesville, Georgia, it is actually illegal to eat fried chicken with anything other than your fingers – and someone was arrested for it! In 2009, Gainesville Police Chief Frank Hooper arrested Louisiana resident Ginny Dietrick on her 91st birthday for eating fried chicken with a fork – as part of a prank played upon her by a friend. The mayor and president-emeritus of the Georgia Poultry Federation were on hand to dismiss the charges.

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Where You Can't Eat a Watermelon

In Beech Grove, Indiana, it is illegal to eat watermelons in parks. A parks board member explains that the ordinance was erected after watermelon rinds were found to puncture garbage bags and cause messes.

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In Wisconsin, it is illegal to serve margarine to inmates, patients and students. Chapter seven of the Wisconsin Legislative Documents prohibits serving the butter alternative for non-medical purposes.

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What Traffic-Stopping Apparel Hot Dog Vendors Can't Wear

In Broward County, Florida, hot dog stand vendors may not wear inappropriate attire that shows parts of the "cleavage or buttocks", such as thong bikinis or G-strings, or else be deemed "a hazard or impediment to traffic". We're wondering what's going down in the Sunshine State that makes this rule necessary...

How Not to Catch Fish

In Tennessee, it is illegal to catch fish with a lasso. This strange law started as a wacky city ordinance, but the language in the books has cleaned up over the years and now makes no mention of a lasso – although, lassos are still technically a prohibited device.

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How You Shouldn't Drink Beer

In Lefors, Texas, it was illegal to drink more than three sips of beer while standing. This strange law was on the books within the last century, but has since disappeared. An old-timer confirms that the law was created so that people would go inside and sit down to drink rather than stand outside and offend the eyes of "teetotalers."

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Where You Can't Keep a Chicken

In a small town in Colorado, residents may not own chickens, but they may keep up to three turkeys, geese or ducks. We're not sure why chickens are singled out, but the language can be found here.

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Who You Can't Order Pizza For

Before you think about dialing in that pizza prank delivery, chew on this: in the state of Louisiana, it is unlawful to order goods or services to be delivered to a person without them knowing.

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Where a ban on food bans exists

The state of Mississippi passed an "Anti-Bloomberg Bill" in March that bans a ban on large portion sizes and other food regulations, making sure no similar public health initiatives like the regulation of large, sugary drinks take place.

Image Credit: George Doyle

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“I wanted to let you know that today I introduced LB 709, which will create a space in the capitol building for nursing parents to express breast milk that 1) Is not in a bathroom, 2) Is a private space 3) Has electrical outlets and running water,” she told a Facebook commenter. “The space will be available to legislators, staff, and visitors to the capitol.”

“Normalizing breastfeeding is really important, and so in some ways, it’s sad that it’s 2019 and women aren’t able to take care of their children in the way they need to without concern,” she said in her interview with the Omaha World-Herald. “But also, I’m proud to be a part of bringing more visibility to the issue and showing people that it is a normal thing and it’s not a big deal.”

She’s in good company. Last April, Sen. Tammy Duckworth — the first sitting U.S. senator to give birth while in office — spearheaded a rule change that allows senators to bring children up to age 1 onto the Senate floor, and allows women to breastfeed during votes. And in September, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made headlines when she brought her infant daughter to the United Nations General Assembly meeting. 

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Candidates casting their votes during the 2018 midterm election
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Virginia Republican senatorial candidate Corey Stewart, center, and his wife Maria Stewart, left, voting at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Woodbridge, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Wife Maria Stewart
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