Pope Francis gets it. At an annual ceremony where he baptized 28 babies in the Sistine Chapel, the pontiff told women what they don't hear enough from men, particularly childless ones, particularly childless ones in a place of authority.
Once again, he encouraged women to breastfeed their babies—even in church.
When the sound of babies' cries filled the church, Pope Francis joked that a concert had begun. All joking aside, he understood that babies are, you know, babies. They might have been crying because they were in an unfamiliar place, had to get up early or were just hungry (all very human reactions, folks).
“The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is,” he said. “You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear, just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus."
The pope has reaffirmed his message time and time again. In the 2015 baptism service, he departed from his prepared text and reassured moms it was fine to breastfeed during mass. He asked listeners to remember poor moms, “too many, unfortunately, who can’t give food to their children." In the 2014 ceremony, he said, "If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here." And in a 2013 interview with La Stampa. he recounted a moment with a young mom who was caressing her crying baby but too shy to breastfeed in public: "'Please give it something to eat!' I said. She was shy and didn’t want to breast-feed in public, while the Pope was passing. I wish to say the same to humanity: Give people something to eat!"
His reminder couldn't come at a better time, especially when women are kicked out of court, public pools, a TED conference meant to empower women, an ob-gyn office, and on and on just for breastfeeding.
So, Mama, if anyone gives you a hard time, know your rights and keeping feeding your baby. If they still have a problem, tell them to bring it up with the pope.