This Mom Breastfeeds While Doing a Yoga Handstand—and Her Photos Have Sparked Controversy Online
Some Instagrammers are inspired . . . others horrified.
Carlee Benear is a mom and a yogi, but those two identities aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, she breastfeeds her daughter while practicing her flow. And though most of her more than 63,000 followers are supportive, a few have shared negative remarks about her posts.
First, the love and support. Benear captions her Instagram photos with inspiring quotes or her own words about motherhood, self-love, and family. Thousands of fans cite her as a source of positivity and encouragement.
“I ABSOLUTELY LOVE your page,” one respondent wrote. “I love that you have such a strong bond with your children and with yourself, and I love that you’re so down to Earth. Seriously, keep it up. You bring out the beauty in motherhood.” Another shared, “You’re an incredible woman and an inspiration."
But in the Twitterverse, there's always controversy. A few Instagrammers found the intimate photos offensive, and others questioned the combination of breastfeeding and doing yoga.
“You’re disgusting,” one respondent wrote. “I hope someone reports you.” Another added, “This is just weird. And no, NOT the breastfeeding. But that you’re making it a circus trick.”
Several of her supporters rushed to her defense. Wrote one: “I cannot believe you are being abused by ignorant people over this post! It’s a beautiful picture of a mother feeding her child while also caring for herself. What is more beautiful? Self nourish to nourish your child…”
Benear herself stated that breastfeeding while doing yoga poses has helped her bounce back from the physical and emotional effects of giving birth. In one post, she said that she started doing it after delivering her second child.
“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,” she wrote.
At least one viewer who came to Benear's site expecting to be a critic admits that she came away impressed and inspired.
“I expected to be outraged, disgusted and offended...And I was. At first,” a commenter named Beth wrote in an email to Benear. “But as I sat with my feelings I began to question my perspective … Whatever it was, I chose to let it go and really SEE what was being offered in each photo: beauty, family, love, yoga, truth and so much more. So thank you.”