Pope Francis has encouraged women attending a ceremony in the Sistine Chapel to feel free to breastfeed their children in the church without fear.
The Pontiff said this on Sunday during the annual baptism ceremony to commemorate the baptism of Jesus. At this year’s ceremony, 28 children were baptised – 15 boys and 13 girls.
“The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is. You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus”, the pontiff said.
The Pope who kept his remarks short, noted that the cry of the babies could be that the babies were upset by a new place or perhaps were awakened early for the ceremony on Sunday morning in the chapel decorated by Michelangelo and where Popes are elected in closed-door conclaves.
This is not the first time that the Argentine Pope has encouraged mothers to feed their babies during mass. He made a similar appeal at the Baptism service in 2015 and in 2014, as well as in a December 2013 interview with La Stampa.
In many countries around the world, however, women are still widely discouraged from breastfeeding, especially in public.
The benefits of breastfeeding include providing optimal nutrition and an immune system boost for babies while helping mothers bond with infants and speeding maternal weight loss after birth.
British scientists have recently developed an antibiotic from breast milk capable of destroying drug-resistant bacteria.
The discovery made by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and University College London, is being hailed as a major breakthrough in the race to contain the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria called that kill about 10,000 Britons each year.
The researchers also found out that breast milk contains important protein that could also be turned into an “articial virus” that could fight drug-resistant bacteria in human cells