To cover or not to cover?
This seems to be a HUGE discussion with pro-breastfeeders and the "yeah yeah, it's the best for your baby- cover the dang thing up!"ers. I would like to share my experience with #1 and what I've learned about covered and uncovered nursing.
First of all, uncovered nursing does not mean that your boob is hanging out there in front of God and everybody else, it just means that your not wearing "the tent" as it is affectionately referred to. Why would someone not want to wear a cover in the first place? Let me first ask this- have you ever tried to get a squirmy, hungry newborn to latch under one of those things?! Newborns don't latch on their own, they need a little help finding the bulls eye. So they're squirming, and crying, and trying to latch on to anything but your boob all while you're juggling them and the tent- which is hot, likes to flash people unexpectedly and did I mention HOT? This may seem a little exaggerated to you, maybe you didn't have as much trouble but I did NOT like the cover, honestly I used it more as a changing pad and emergency blanket than a cover.
But then one day I was tired, feeling slightly brassy and my baby girl was hungry. I was wearing a nursing tank top (super easy to make by the way) under a regular shirt and I realized after getting her latched on that my shirt covered the top of my boob and the tank top covered my side and belly while my nursing baby's head covered the rest. Glory glory hallelujah! I turned to my mother, who was sitting beside me and was like "this is the best thing ever!" and then said, "Oh yeah, I never had nursing tops with you kids, I just wore a flowing shirt and the baby covered the important stuff".
The funny discovery that I've made about uncovered nursing is that, at least for me, it's far more discreet than the tent. Not yet have a gotten a single dirty look for nursing my baby in public, mostly because they can't tell! Seriously, I have had people come up and pet #1's head while she was attached. They had absolutely no idea that I was nursing, they simply assumed that she was sleeping all nice and cozy. I've had pictures taken of me and posted on the internet while I was nursing no one new. This is a perfect example, and incidentally the only one I could find...
So really my only point is that uncovered nursing isn't necessarily indecent or bare boobing it. There are mothers that are comfortable with exposing the whole thing and that's between them, their husbands, and God. (<--- I don't have time to go into all that!) I am personally not comfortable doing it myself.
If you're having trouble nursing in public or you're expecting and wondering how the heck you're going to feed the kid when you're grocery shopping (because you know that whole 2-3 hours between feedings is a lie... until they're like 3 months and even then it's circumstantial) consider making, or buying ($$$) a nursing tank and giving scandalous uncovered nursing a try, you may just find that it works for you.