Okay, I'll have to admit it. I don't get it. What's up?
Here's the situation: Our church has a nursing room, directly off the sanctuary, where mamas can go to nurse infants. It's entirely enclosed, no windows, darkened, with a TV screen of the pastor speaking. There's even a sign that says "Since this room is for women and infants, no men are allowed in this room." Thus, we have a private, low-light, women-and-babies-only nursing situation.
But what do I find?
I find that women, even in these circumstances, take the time to elaborately cover themselves with nursing covers before they are willing to nurse. Baby is screaming, mama is stressed - but they won't nurse until they've swathed themselves in the heavy folds of their nursing covers.
I mean, seriously! It's ALL WOMEN. There are no men present, and not even any children. (Not that I'd object to that, but some would.) So WHY? Do they think other women are going to be grossed out by their breast-feeding? ("I'm sitting here breastfeeding my baby, but if I see another baby nursing I'll puke!") Are they that modest that they can't show one inch of skin to nurse a baby?
I find it puzzling. All the more so because, statistically, I know that most of these women are hospital-birthers, meaning that they have undergone demeaning and immodest procedures and situations that I would never wish on anyone - such as nudity before multiple complete strangers, vaginal exams by multiple complete strangers, birth in the lithotomy position before complete strangers.... and yet they cannot possibly nurse in front of other women without being completely covered. Can I say that this is a little strange?
I'm not an "in-your-face" nurser, but I don't cover myself completely. It's an unnecessary pain in the neck! But I find myself worrying and feeling self-conscious about nursing normally when surrounded by nursing-cover moms. "Are they thinking I'm weird? Are they grossed out by the sight of me breastfeeding? Are they going to talk about me when I leave?" All my insecurities come out in the nursing room.
This past week I finally saw one woman nurse who only partially covered herself with a blanket. I could have kissed her in gratitude - I felt an immediate sisterhood. :)
Weird stuff.... Thoughts, anyone?