It’s OK for moms to breastfeed in public

Pope Francis has assured mothers that it is OK if they breastfeed their babies in public.

Pope Francis has assured mothers that it is OK if they breastfeed their babies in public.

February 3, 2014

Pope Francis assured mothers that breastfeeding their babies in public, even during a papal Mass in the Sistine Chapel, is OK.

No chorus is as wonderful as the squeaks, squeals and banter of children, the pope said during a Mass in which he baptized 32 babies on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 12.

“Some will cry because they are uncomfortable or because they are hungry,” he said during his brief and unscripted homily.

“If they are hungry, mothers, let them eat, no worries, because here they are the main focus,” he said.

One of the mothers, Emer McCarthy, an Irish journalist at Vatican Radio, told Catholic News Service that while most of the other mothers had brought baby bottles for feedings, she did not hesitate to breastfeed her daughter, Polly Rose, discreetly during appropriate moments during the ceremony.

She said she hoped the pope’s encouragement would help overcome social taboos against breast-feeding in public.

“Who would have thought the pope would be this great proponent,” she said.