Pope Francis has encouraged women attending a ceremony in the Sistine Chapel to feel free to breastfeed their children in the church.

“The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is,” the pontiff said.

“You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus,” he told worshippers attending an annual ceremony commemorating the baptism of Jesus.

The Argentine pope on Sunday baptised 28 children – 15 boys and 13 girls.

He has previously voiced his support for breastfeeding, including 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.

In many countries around the world, however, women are still widely discouraged from breastfeeding, especially in public.

Written by HMBASA

With the increasing number of milk banks around the country, it was felt that an association was necessary to provide guidelines for these organisations. Guidelines for donor milk banking were developed in 2008 based on those used by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America and United Kingdom Association of Milk Banks. An inaugural meeting to discuss the formation of HMBASA was held at the Priorities Perinatal Conference in March 2008, and The Human Milk Banking Association of South Africa (HMBASA) was registered as a non-profit organisation in 2009.

Our Partners & Affiliates