Pope Francis had a message for all nursing mothers during a ceremony at the Sistine Chapel on Jan. 8 — ‘go ahead and breastfeed!’ Yep, the pope is TOTALLY all for women feeding their babies in public, and we’re kind of loving that he so vocally voiced his support. Even better, he told the moms in the audience to do so ‘without fear’ because, after all, Jesus was once a hungry baby too!
Talk about progressive! Doing his part to support the “free the nipple” movement, Pope Francis, 80, not only allowed, but encouraged the mothers in attendance at a mass held at the Sistine Chapel on Jan. 8 to nurse their hungry babies if need be — right there in church! Telling them it was ok to calm their crying little ones, the pope told his audience, “Since the ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry,” the Pope said in Italian, referencing a child who had already begun to cry. “That’s the way it is. You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus.”
I 💛 the Pope. “You mothers, go ahead * breast-feed without fear,” he said. “Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus.” https://t.co/JjFNGLPmrD
— Erin Schrode (@ErinSchrode) January 10, 2017
The pontiff had baptized 28 babies earlier in the mass and had called the sound of the crying infants a “concert.” “I would like to think that the first sermon of Jesus in the stable was his crying,” he said, according to USA Today. At least one woman ended up nursing her child during the ceremony, the Washington Post reported. But this isn’t even the first time Pope Francis has positively spoken out about public breastfeeding.
In fact, just two years ago, as he baptized 33 babies at the same ceremony, the Pope also encouraged mothers to nurse their crying infants, using the Italian word for breastfeed, “allattateli,” according to Reuters. “You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them, don’t worry,” he said at the time.
Breastfeeding has been known as a social taboo, with many women — including celebrities like Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde, and Chrissy Teigen — being shamed for nursing their hungry babies in public. “I support every woman’s choice in what she wants to do and whatever makes them happy, but for me, I did nurse my child and I literally breastfed everywhere,” Mila revealed back in July.
“There were many times where I didn’t bring a cover with me, and so I just did it in a restaurant, in the subway, in the park, at airports, and in planes. Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child. She’s hungry… It took [my husband Ashton Kutcher and I] a little back because people actually looked at us in a shameful [way], and we were like, ‘Oh my God,’ because it’s so not a sexual act.”
The actress added, “I think it’s unfortunate that people are so hard on women who choose to do it and do it in public. In the States and in our culture, we sexualize the breast so much that there’s an aspect of it that people just don’t know how to wrap their head around the idea of showing your breast in public… If it’s not for you, don’t look.” And we love that the Pope couldn’t agree more!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do you think it’s great that Pope Francis is all for public nursing?