Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Pope Francis is the Breast

Hey hey hey! I’m one of your new bloggers here and this is not only my first ShoutOut! blog post, but my first ever blog post! So to introduce myself a little bit I thought I’d start out with my two areas of study: religion and feminism.

Pope Francis has won over a lot of hearts since he became the pope in 2013 with his outspokenness for social justice and love for the oppressed. One of his most recent crusades (pun intended) he shares with people you might not expect, such as Alyssa Milano, Mila Kunis , and millions of unnamed mothers all around the world…breastfeeding in public.The Pope recently spoke out about breastfeeding during the Vatican’s annual ceremony commemorating the baptism of Jesus. As 28 babies waited to be baptized, some began to cry. Pope Francis joked about it, and then said that if the babies were crying because they were hungry, the mothers should feed them right there. And if mothers can breastfeed during mass in the Sistine Chapel with the Pope present, then why in the world wouldn’t it be ok for mothers to feed their hungry babies anywhere?

This is not the first time Pope Francis has made these remarks, as he made similar ones two years ago at the same service during his homily. He planned to use the phrase “give them milk,” and instead changed it to “allattateli,” meaning “breastfeed them” in Italian.

Most mothers that breastfeed in public cover up so that nothing can be seen anyways. But even if the cover is forgotten, or the baby happens to pull it down, or they just choose not to use it and those nearby happen to see something, they have no right to say anything about it. Those against breastfeeding in public may say things like “Why can’t you just use formula,” or “why can’t you use a breast pump at home and bring bottles of that milk?” Well, it’s not quite that simple.

Formula has been proven to not have the same benefits as breast milk does. It’s also yet another thing for parents to buy, along with diapers, a crib, toys, clothes…… Babies are expensive, so why add on yet another cost when there’s a natural supply of food that doesn’t cost a thing? Breast pumps allow the baby to still drink breast milk, but they are uncomfortable, and often it is easier and better for both the mother and the child to breast feed when possible.

Breastfeeding is an entirely natural thing. Believe it or not, it’s what breasts are made for! Humans, like almost all mammals, have nipples for a reason, and that is to provide nourishment for their young. If a mother chooses not to breastfeed in public, fine. But if you do see mothers breastfeeding in public, please just let them go about their business. They are often already tired and run ragged, working hard to help their children, and they don’t need to feel ashamed for doing something natural to keep their children happy, healthy, and alive.

So, mothers of hungry children, no matter where you are, I implore you, don’t let the rude remarks of those ignorant enough to believe breasts are only sexual in nature keep you from feeding your children. Allattateli.

Featured Image Source: Republic of Korea, Flickr

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