Pope Gives Go-Ahead for Women to Breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel

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Breastfeeding is a polarizing issue, for no good reason. It is one very good way to get food into tiny people who need to eat every 60 to 90 minutes or so, but for some reason some people insist that it is gross, or sinful, or sexual. Well, one person at least does not think breastfeeding is inappropriate in any place, because the Pope paused a ceremony in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday to let any nursing parents in the room know that they could feel free to breastfeed their children right there, if they wanted to.

According to The Local, on Sunday Pope Francis was conducting an annual ceremony celebrating the baptism of Jesus. The event was held at the Sistine Chapel, and many children were there to be baptised. With that many small children and infants in attendance, some fussing and crying was guaranteed. The pontiff was not flustered by crying babies in the audience, and said that was just natural.

“The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is,” Pope Francis said. “You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus.”

During the ceremony, the pope baptised 28 babies. He’d have had to be out of his mind to think 28 babies could sit through a Catholic ceremony without getting hungry. Most grow-ups can’t even do that.

Pope Francis has spoken before about how women should be able to breastfeed in public, even at formal or religious events. Some people might be shy about nursing in front of the pope, but the pope says he’s just in favor of babies getting fed.

The pope’s position is pretty logical, but still it is tough to breastfeed in public without getting harassed or shamed by jerks. Some people insist breastfeeding is us “showing off” our tits, as though there were no other options for toplessness in the world if tit-waving were our main goal. Still others insist that public breastfeeding is gross because we are surely “saggy.” (For a fun game, drink whenever a breastfeeding critic says the word “saggy.” They all do it eventually.) Either way, both hinge on the idea that breastfeeding is about the sexual titillation or lack thereof of the people around us, when really it’s about feeding children.