Pope Francis tells mums to “go ahead and breastfeed” in church

Many mums have fought for their right to breastfeed in public and now their cause is getting support from a higher power.

Pope Francis has encouraged women to breastfeed in church, The Daily Telegraph reports.

“The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is,” the Pope told worshippers at the Sistine Chapel on Sunday.

“You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus.”

The pontiff has previously voiced his support for breastfeeding in public.

Time will tell what impact his latest words will have but breastfeeding mums should rest assured they are not alone.

Public support

While many women are still shamed for breastfeeding their babies in public, more and more people are taking steps and speaking out for change.

There have been plenty of celebrities taking to social media to normalise a woman’s right to feed her hungry baby.

There are also plenty of ordinary parents without a public profile, doing their part to challenge those who would choose to shame them for the simple act of feeding their baby.

US mum Wittney Hope is just one of those parents, recently pointing out the cruel irony of public acceptance of an in-store underwear advertisement but shameful treatment of her attempt to feed her daughter.

Similarly, we all cheered Californian mum Danielle Solito’s husband Jason for pushing her in a trolley around Target while she breastfed their daughter. Both shared their stories on social media, and a supportive public helped propel their message into the media.

Hungry babies need to eat

It is not just confrontation that encourages mums to share their breastfeeding moments online, sometimes it’s just about sharing a precious (and occasionally humorous) moment in time.

From breastfeeding brides nursing during their nuptials to guests breastfeeding in their formal gear, even a wedding isn’t enough to stop a baby’s need to feed – and why should it?

Breastfeeding can be beautiful and it can also come with a whole host of challenges.

Given there are proven links between breastfeeding difficulties and depression in new mums, let’s all do our bit to support mums however, whenever and wherever they choose to feed their babies.

Alison Balding

Alison Balding

Alison is a journalist and mum to an energetic, superhero-obsessed, three-year-old boy and wife to her high school sweetheart turned Sydney firefighter. When she isn't burning dinner or walking on the beach near her home on the NSW south coast, she is watching Octonauts on repeat. Going to the movies without having to share her choc top is her idea of bliss.

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