I love that they're avalible for those who need them. I used them a lot when DD was very small because I had to use a sheild, not easy to be discreat with that, though when I did have to use the shield out in the open I got quiet a few smiles of encouragment, very supriseing..
Even with shields, I've seen different women approach it differently, one friend felt it was so indiscreet that she couldn't nurse outside of the home and I suspect in the early days with a first baby I'd have felt the same way.
I've seen others happily use them in all women company, but even at LLL meetings I've seen some women trying to use a cover so they can use a shield and then having great difficulty.
I remember the first time I nursed out of the home, it was 5 days after DS was born, we went to the evening service at church, so there weren't any nursery facilities in use. So I went to the nursery, thinking it would be empty, instead there were two men looking after toddlers, whilst their wives were in the service, not just any old men either, between the two of them they were half the eldership of the church! I think that one experience, without me realising at the time changed my whole future nursing out of the home experiences. They made me feel completely comfortable, they didn't attempt to leave, or look in another direction, just made me feel that nursing my baby was the most normal thing to do in the world, which then removed my need to even go to that room, unless baby was noisy, or had a dirty diaper.
I don't think there actions were concious, just normal for them in all ways, as highly educated middle class men in the UK, but it made a huge difference to me in the long term.
Which then bothers me how it would have shaped my future as a breastfeeder if they had left the room, suggested I go somewhere else, or offered me a cover, again something I think people who would do that wouldn't do with any thought about the long term, but if called on it, might argue that it wouldn't affect the long term, when I feel it would, even for me as a highly committed breastfeeder.