Think you’ve mastered the cradle, side lying, and football hold and are ready to move on to the next level of breastfeeding? Allow me to introduce you to the newest trend: breastfeeding yoga.
Carlee Wall’s Instagram pics have generated quite the buzz lately, and it’s not hard to see why. She’s assuming some challenging yoga poses while nursing her newborn. That isn’t something you see every day — or ever.
And while social media does encourage the posting of unrealistic photos for the sole purpose of generating likes and buzz, there’s something very real about these breastfeeding yoga photos.
No, most of us have never breastfed while doing yoga, but surely all moms who’ve breastfed have, at least once, nursed in a position that isn’t on the breastfeeding brochure. Babies nurse. A lot. And quite often they get hungry when we don’t have a chair, couch, or bed to sit on and nurse peacefully in one of the traditional positions. So we nurse in every conceivable place, because life goes on and baby needs to eat.
In talking with Carlee, I learned the story behind these photos — one that so many moms can relate to.
Carlee had postpartum depression after the birth of her first child, and when her second came along, she turned to yoga to be active and help work through the frustrations that come along with being a parent.
“Yoga makes me happy and it is something that my children also enjoy,“ Carlee says. “When I go back and look at my photos, I see strength. I see the woman my children see — a parent who is actively trying to be better every single day.”
The message of self care is heavily preached to moms these days, and for good reason. After all, it’s hard to take care of your family if you don’t take care of yourself, first. But mom taking care of herself, by herself, without her children, is easier said than done. For me, it’s near impossible. I have “velcro” children who need to be attached to me 24/7. Exercise, for example, is something I do to take care of myself, but after I had my first child I didn’t have the luxury of exercising alone. So I started exercising with my kid in my arms. That was and continues to be the only way I can take care of myself in that way.
Clingy children or not, it’s hard to have alone time to take care of yourself as much as you’d like. In many cases, if we want to take care of ourselves, we have to find a way to blend baby care with mommy care.
This breastfeeding yogi is doing what we’re all doing — caring for our families while we care for ourselves in our own unique way.