Pope Francis has encouraged mothers celebrating the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in the Sistine Chapel to feel free to breastfeed their children in the church.
“The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is,” the pontiff said. “You mothers, go ahead and breast-feed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus.”
The Argentine pope reportedly baptized 28 children, Sunday, – 15 boys and 13 girls.
Previously, Francis voiced his support for breastfeeding in public wherein he related an anecdote about a mother who was ashamed of breast-feeding her hungry child in front of the pope.
“The child was crying its eyes out as I came past. The mother was caressing it. I said to her: Madam, I think the child’s hungry. ‘Yes, it’s probably time,’ she replied. ‘Please give it something to eat!’ I said. She was shy and didn’t want to breast-feed in public, while the pope was passing. I wish to say the same to humanity: Give people something to eat!”
In some countries, women are widely discouraged from breastfeeding in public.