Pope Francis encourages mothers to breastfeed in Sistine Chapel

  • 09/01/2017
Pope Francis (File)
Pope Francis (File)

Pope Francis has encouraged women to "breastfeed without fear" at a baptism ceremony in the Sistine Chapel.

The Argentinian pontiff baptised 28 children - 15 boys and 13 girls - on Sunday.

"The ceremony is a little long, someone's crying because he's hungry. That's the way it is," the Guardian reports the pontiff saying.

"You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus."

Breastfeeding in public is still seen as controversial in many countries, and some women are still discouraged from doing so.

In New Zealand, under the Human Rights Act, it is illegal for someone to stop a woman breastfeeding in public.