Pope Francis To Breastfeeding Moms: 'Go Ahead And Breastfeed' Inside The Church
Pope Francis has encouraged breastfeeding moms to feed their baby while attending church if necessary. Addressing attendees at a Sunday ceremony held in the Sistine Chapel, the leader of the Catholic Church said that moms can "go ahead and breastfeed" without fear if the baby is getting hungry.
Public breastfeeding remains a hotly debated topic and some mothers have been shamed for it, including celebrity moms. Many have been vocal about normalizing the act since it is the most natural way of nourishing a growing and developing child. The pope's recent statement strengthens the very idea.
The pope likened breastfeeding moms to "the Virgin Mary who nursed Jesus," according to Yahoo. "The ceremony is a little long, someone's crying because he's hungry," he said. "That's the way it is."
According to New York Magazine, after Pope Francis expressed his support for breastfeeding moms, someone from the crowd did nurse her baby. There were at least 28 children among the churchgoers at that time because the Sunday ceremony also included baptisms. The pope even joked about the babies' cries, which he described as a "concert."
This is not the first time that Pope Francis has talked about public breastfeeding. According to the Washington Post, he also encouraged a mother to go ahead and feed her baby inside the church two years ago.
The mom was said to have been hesitant because the pope was about to pass the crowd and it might be seen as disrespectful. "I wish to say the same to humanity: give people something to eat!" the pope said. "That woman had milk to give to her child; we have enough food in the world to feed everyone."
The news comes as mothers share stories online of being told off or getting judgmental looks for public breastfeeding, especially inside sacred sites like a church. But on Mumsnet, mothers also shared that they have been feeding their babies right in front of the priest giving a sermon. They appreciate the fact that priests do not mind this at all.