The Italian Almanac

Donatella Poretti

Italian News - May 10

First-time MP and proud new mother Donatella Poretti is flying the flag for working moms throughout Italy, claiming the right to breast-feed her daughter in parliament. "I need a room with the bare minimum to feed Alice, change her diaper and let her get some rest," said Poretti, 38, in a break from voting for a new Italian president. For the time being, between one voting session and the next, Poretti is forced to leave the assembly every two hours or so, using a corner of the House infirmary to give two-month-old Alice her regular dose of mother's milk.

Poretti, a Florentine journalist elected for the Radical Party, has written to new House Speaker Fausto Bertinotti in the hope of having a baby-care room added to the array of plush facilities in the hulking building. "A parliamentary creche would be an important signal for the rest of the country, for all the moms who have to choose between work and taking care of their babies".

According to the Italian Society of Paediatricians (SIP), eight out of ten mothers choose to breast-feed their babies but the majority have to give up when they go back to work after a three-month maternity leave.