Breastfeeding in public just got a major, holy, endorsement. Pope Francis recently told mothers that they could breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel. While presiding over the baptism of 33 babies, the leader of the Catholic church said, “You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them, don’t worry.” Later, during the mass, he urged the congregation to think of impoverished women struggling to feed their children.
So, what’s the big deal? Why are people getting all excited by this? I mean, it’s not like the Sistine Chapel doesn’t already have its fair share of boobs all over the place. Artwork notwithstanding, this vocal support for nursing in public by the Pope is rather significant, particularly as mothers in the U.S. are still being hassled for doing so, regardless of their legal rights. Just recently, mother Alanna Panas was kicked out of a Maryland casino for breastfeeding her infant in an empty lobby. Ocean Downs Casino security told Panas that her daughter Lilly was a “security threat,” and told her to leave, despite the fact that Panas was nowhere near the casino floor (where those under 21 are not allowed). The casino eventually reached out with a half-hearted apology, but one that certainly did not make up for the harassment Panas felt. And unfortunately, she’s not alone. Keep reading »
Sometimes it feels like moms who breastfeed in public can’t catch a break. Or, in the case of a Virginia mother, a few sips of beer.
A woman identified as “Crystal” was thrown out of Big Woody’s Bar and Grill for drinking a beer while she nursed her baby. Crystal says she only had one sip before beginning to feed her 11-month old and was going to drink the rest once she finished nursing. Before she was able to, however, a handful of other customers complained and she was asked to leave the restaurant by management. According to the bar’s co-owner, Jeff Leroy (who was not present at the time of the incident), the issue was less with the breastfeeding and more about the drinking of alcohol. Keep reading »