I run into a lot of moms (mostly through church) who breastfeed, but are obviously uncomfortable doing so in front of others. I remember once walking into the mother's lounge (small private room with two rocking chairs and a changing table) at church to find a mom nursing with the rocking chair facing the corner and a cover on. That kind of floored me. I really don't care if someone wants to use a cover, but I do feel sad when they are still so obviously uncomfortable with it that they feel the need to apologize profusely to anyone around, or give disclaimers before beginning, etc. When ds was little, I nursed without a cover everywhere, including at church, but it took a lot of working through my thoughts on modesty and such before I was comfortable.
Today I was out at a children's museum with a group of moms from church. I sat down on a bench to watch my toddler play next to a mom I hadn't met before. She was getting ready to nurse her 4 or 5 month old, under a big swaddling blanket. I had been sitting there previously, and had gotten up to help ds with something quickly, so I don't think she was trying to get me to move, but it's possible I guess. The conversation went something like this
Her: "Sorry! I have to feed her"
Me: shrug "I don't mind"
Her: "It's just that she's probably about to start screaming"
Me: "Don't worry about it, I remember those days"
Her: "I figure it's just a bunch of moms around, right?"
Her baby seemed happy enough under the blanket, so there wasn't even any struggling to keep covered where someone might have seen the smallest glimpse of anything. So why did she feel the need to apologize and make excuses?
If someone really wanted to get into the topic, I could have a conversation about my thoughts on religious modesty and breastfeeding (and how I don't really think they are all that related) but for a casual acquaintance that's not likely to be the first conversation we're going to have, you know? I just wish I had thought of something to say that made it clear that (imo) no apologies or excuses are ever necessary to feed your baby.