when you see a woman comfortably nursing her child - no matter where she is sitting or no matter how old the child - DO NOT offer her a towel, napkin, blanket or any other device to cover up her baby. DO NOT suggest she goes elsewhere, where its quieter/more secluded/less crowded/...
If this mother is indeed comfortably nursing her child, this means she is comfortable where she is. Nursing mothers who do need privacy will seek it out, or ask for a place to nurse their child more discreetly if they feel the need for it. Nursing mothers who feel the need to cover up will have something handy to that ends.
A nursing mother knows that her child might get hungry if she's out and about and she comes fully equipped.
Suggesting these things, even out of consideration or kindness, is offensive. It makes the mother feel like you think she shouldn't be nursing where she is right now. It makes her feel as if you notice her nursing because you are offended or unsettled by it. Any remarks about a nursing mother's discretion are simply uncalled for and not yours to give. Every nursing mother does exactly what she feels comfortable with so there is no need to meddle whatsoever. Most certainly she has considered the spot where she is sitting or the amount of 'exposure' she is portraying and is comfortable with it. She is not a sad little creature in need of chivalry or rescuing.
If you still feel the need to do something when you see a mother nursing her child, smile at her. Tell her how wonderful it is to see a mother nurse her child. Tell her how great it is that she is giving her baby the most natural, wholesome food she can. But please don't tell her to move or cover up. How would you feel if you were eating in a restaurant and some person came up to you and ask you if you would like a towel to put over your head while you eat? Or tell you maybe you'd rather sit in the bathroom or the staff room. Pretty damn awful, no?
This post was inspired by this article