Lawmakers can now breastfeed in the Australian Parliament after the government changed the rules to make politics more family-friendly. But none of the nursing mothers appeared keen to take up the opportunity.

The change of rules in the House of Representatives on the first sitting day of the year on Tuesday means that lawmakers can now bring their babies with them into the chamber. Previously children were confined to the public galleries or offices.

Women account for 40 of the 150 members of the House of Representatives, and three have had babies since March.

The minor baby boom prompted a parliamentary committee to examine provisions for nursing mothers. It recommended lawmakers be allowed to bring in their babies "to breastfeed, bottle feed and at other times when needed."