Emma Waverman writes about the chaos of modern family life. She is the co-author of the family cookbook Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and is hoping to one day finish her certification as a parenting coach. She lives with her three kids, ranging from tween to grade schooler, and husband in Toronto. Emma has written for a variety of national parenting and lifestyle magazines and newspapers. When she's is not making typos, telling you what she thinks, and thinking about dinner, you can find her on Twitter at @emmawaverman. You can contact Emma at embracingchaos@hotmail.ca.

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Entries in pope Francis (1)

Tuesday
Jan142014

Since the Pope Didn't Use The Word Discreet Can We Drop It Too?

Pope Francis, the most laid-back Pope in recent memory, invited an audience of new moms to breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel.

In short he okayed public breastfeeding in a religious place, and by doing so, also in your local Target.

He said in his homily to families awaiting baptism:

“If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here,” he said.

Notice what is missing here. He did not say, you can breastfeed here if you are discreet, or if you cover yourself with a holy hootie cover. He said, feed your babies, and I hope those women did.

Discreet has become a code word for those who are still squeamish about a woman feeding her baby in public. Discreet means -- 'I guess it is okay with me if I don't see your breasts at all'. There is something a little shameful hidden in the word discreet. So if a woman gets banned or kicked out of a store -- it's because she wasn't "discreet" enough. Perhaps, she was "flaunting", the ugly,  loud sister of discreet. 

Generally, there is very little breast shown during breastfeeding. But occasionally, nipples do happen. Nursing mothers are generally  more concerned with their babies' hunger than your comfort level. And so it should be. And that is the meaning I read into the Pope's words. 

 It is strange that the Pope, an old man with no children, is the most powerful person to ever stand behind public breastfeeding. I guess Beyonce or Gisele Bunduchen is next in line, and then maybe Pink

 A multi-tasking Gisele Bundchen

I hope the church ministers heard him, and also the flight attendants, the mall security and the powers-that-be at Facebook and Instagram. I especially hope that those people who seem to make a full-time job out of leaving comments like "I don't urinate in public, so you shouldn't breastfeed in public" heard the message. (And I have read many, many of those.)

But most of all, I hope the Pope's message spreads to the people who need to hear it most -- the new mothers who feel uncomfortable and humiliated by feeding their hungry babies. 

Another man, Jon Stewart summed it up one tweet: