Pope Francis encourages mothers to be comfortable breastfeeding in church

Pope Francis has encouraged mothers not to hesitate in breastfeeding their hungry babies while in church, just as the Virgin Mary also breastfed Jesus.

(REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz)Mothers breastfeed their babies while attending a rally to raise public awareness and support for breastfeeding near the steps of New York City Hall in Manhattan, August 8, 2014.

In celebration of the feast of the Baptism of Jesus Christ, Pope Francis baptized 28 infants in the Sistine Chapel. As the cries of hungry babies filled the place, the pontiff used his sermon to encourage mothers to breastfeed their infants without fear in church, RT details.

As the Sistine Chapel was filled with the loud cries of the babies, the pope told the worshippers that Jesus Christ's first sermon in the stable in Bethlehem was marred by the sound of his own crying. In line with this topic, Pope Francis speculated out loud that the babies may already be hungry or irritated due to the unfamiliar environment.

"The ceremony is a little long, someone's crying because he's hungry," the pope said. "You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus."

This is not the first time that Pope Francis has encouraged mothers to breastfeed their babies in church. When he baptized 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel in January 2015, he told the mothers not to worry about breastfeeding their infants if they cry because of hunger, Reuters relays.

The original prepared text for his homily used the phrase "give them milk," but the pontiff switched to the Italian word "allattateli," which translates to "breastfeed them." He put the mothers at ease by telling them not to hesitate in doing so.

Aside from that, the pope also urged the listeners to remember that there are so many poor mothers all over the world who cannot provide their children with food.

Pope Francis voiced out the same support for breastfeeding during a Baptism service in 2014. He also expressed similar thoughts when he spoke to La Stampa in an interview in December 2013.

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