The next time you see a mother openly breastfeeding and wonder why she isn't covered, in another room, at home, or using a bottle or dummy, here are some things to consider.
First, breastfeeding isn't obscene and thus doesn't warrant covering. Even so, maybe the baby has a hard time latching and the mother needs to correct the latch during feeds. Being under a cover would make that more difficult and would not be conducive to successful breastfeeding in that instance.
Or perhaps the baby simply dislikes being covered and won't feed that way. Breastfeeding works by supply and demand, so the mum needs to feed on cue. If the cover is hampering that, ditch the cover. The child may also be going on a nursing strike, and anything that will hinder breastfeeding should be avoided.
Maybe her baby has health issues. Breastfeeding is by far the best choice for all babies, but especially when there are health issues.
Parenting can be isolating, and telling a breastfeeding mum to stay at home adds to that and could lead or contribute to depression. Besides, it isn't practical. She may have older children who need to be chauffeured. She may simply need to run errands, meet with a friend, or be spiritually recharged at daily Mass.
So the next time you see a breastfeeding mother, think of these things. Of course, even if none of these things applied, it shouldn't matter, since a woman should be ale to openly breastfeed her child whenever, wherever. But it is also good to recognise that we rarely know the whole story. (No, I haven't had any negative comments of late, but have had problems with nursing due to Leo's tongue and lip ties and possible nursing strike that started recently.)