Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. You have the amazing experience of feeling your baby growing in your womb, getting to know them with every kick and movement, and then, if you chose, bonding through breastfeeding once they are born.
Despite it being such a rewarding role, however, many moms suffer from post-natal depression.
Post-natal depression affects one-in-10 moms and, occasionally, their partners too. There are a number of solutions available to those suffering from it, and when it happened to Carlee Beanear from Texas after the birth of her first child, she decided to take up yoga.
She now has three children aged six, four and 18 months old, and since taking up yoga, she has developed her skills considerably. Now she is so adept at flexing and contorting her body that she frequently breastfeeds her youngest child while doing it.
As you can tell from these photographs, she is keen to share her unusual form of exercise with the world and regularly posts on Instagram.
Check out the video below to see her in action:
While many people might interpret Carlee’s decision to breastfeed doing yoga as nothing more than making a bold statement, she said that she does it because breastfeeding is a natural thing to do and uses yoga as an opportunity to work on herself at the same time.
Carlee opened up to The Metro about breastfeeding yoga, saying, “I believe as parents it is our duty to make that time for our self because we can not pour from an empty cup.”
“Breastfeeding yoga has helped me combat postpartum depression and has made my breastfeeding journey free of any bumps in the road, such as mastitis, worry of lacking in supply, getting over those first few weeks of tenderness, let down control and the stresses of being needed around the clock – to name a few,” Carlee revealed.
Carlee said that “no one should be ashamed of feeding their children or teaching their children however they feel called to.”
Despite having such an open outlook, she has received a barrage of criticism for an Instagram post where her menstrual blood can be seen.
As a self-described “Earth Mother”, Carlee also free-bleeds while doing yoga.
“Goddess forbid we even talk about our periods in public… everything must be smothered in white and kept perfectly clean and hidden. That’s what society shoves down our throats,” the mom-of-three wrote on Instagram alongside the following picture.
“The menstrual cycle is about women’s energy and power; the power to be, to restore, to receive [and] to create. Women do not learn magic, women are magic. It is nature, it is our birthright, and we should be forever thankful for the opportunities our menstrual cycles bring us.”
Carlee’s photograph of her free-bleeding was described by some of her critics as “self-important” and “unhygienic”.
However, some people praised her for attempting to destigmatize periods; pixellovephotography wrote, “For all you women saying awful things about her decision to free-bleed I will tell you that this is just a normal bodily function. And there will come a time when your body no longer does this. Your cycle will be gone along with the chance to bear children. So cherish your body at every stage and stop bashing one another!”
Regardless of your opinion on Carlee’s free-bleeding, it’s impossible to reasonably criticise her for breastfeeding her child while doing yoga. They obviously have a wonderful bond, and yoga helps keep Carlee in a good physical and mental place, making it easier for her to breastfeed.