Catholic priest’s pro-breastfeeding sermon


On special occasions I join my husband and W at church.

I used to go nearly every week when W needed regular breast feeds but now she can go a while without mum it is down to daddy.

It was Christmas Day and Father Ray Blake at St Mary Magdalen in Brighton, made me smile.

Fr Ray is quite a traditionalist and at the conservative end of the Catholic Church. He is often criticised for some of his views but in the years I’ve got to know him a little I would say he is a kind and humorous man.

In his sermon he came out as pro breastfeeding.

First of all he criticised Claridges for wrapping a mother in a “ridiculous table cloth”, or words to that effect.

My heart was leaping with joy, particularly as W was snacking on mummy at the time.

He pointed out how before Victorian “prudishness” there were many images of the Virgin Mary suckling Jesus with her bare breast (I picked a Da Vinci one to illustrate).

In reality I feel breastfeeding has been considered shameful since the 50s when formulas were aggressively marketed.

My mother really questioned my choice to breastfeed and seemed to constantly ask when W would have a bottle.

Hers and my grandmother’s generation seem to be obsessed with artificial feeding.

No wonder breastfeeding rates are so low when so many women feel pressured by the older generation to be “normal”.

Update: it seems the Pope is back voicing his pro-breastfeeding message to young mums.


2 thoughts on “Catholic priest’s pro-breastfeeding sermon

  1. I’m fairly sure that parents of your mother’s era – and my own, late mother’s – were fed the line that formula was designed by “science” and therefore better for the baby than “un-scientific” breast milk. I was never breast-fed. It really was the era of the “scientist” in the white coat telling you to use products in adverts.

    It can be hard for parents to reassess those views, because that means facing up to the fact that you did the wrong thing – even for the best of reasons.

    • You sum it up very well Adam. Scientifically proven to provide everything baby needs. Hence I was asked if my milk was tested for nutritional value.

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