The XX Factor

You Go, Naked Breastfeeding Yoga Mom!

Except also naked and breastfeeding!

Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images

Yesterday The Cut’s Maureen O’Connor introduced naked breastfeeding yoga mom to a mainstream audience (link probably NSFW).  The photo of NBYM, whose name is Amy, has been floating around crunchy yoga blogs for 2 years. It’s a lovely image, which Amy swears is not staged: Her chubby pink daughter nursing while she does a headstand.

In general, I have very little patience for hippie parenting shenanigans. But, I find Amy totally charming, and spent at least an hour last night falling down the web rabbit hole of her Instagram account (tagline: “Pachamama. Yoga. Gratitude. Travel. Heartspace. Simple Living. Island Vibes. Creation. Cocos. Sun. Sea. You.”) and her blog, Daughter of the Sun.  What sets this photogenic flower child apart from the ocean of co-sleepers and baby wearers?

O’Connor juxtaposes Amy’s web-famous photo with the Time Magazine controversial breastfeeding mom cover. That cover, featuring a Dr. Sears acolyte nursing her toddler, asked readers, “Are You Mom Enough?” That accusatory framing is the way a lot of parenting coverage is put forward—the notion that there’s only one right way to do things and the most labor-intensive way is always the most pure.

But Amy, who is actually fully walking the walk of organic mothering (she lives in a goddamn teepee!) is not trying to tell anyone else how to parent their child, unlike a lot of other sanctimommies. In an interview with Baby Center, Amy says:

The yoga community and earth mamas loved it! Women who didn’t seem to enjoy breastfeeding or more of the conservative crowd thought it was the weirdest thing and just couldn’t wrap their heads around it. I enjoyed hearing all sides of the spectrum as it reminded me that we are all different and if anything it may have opened the eyes and hearts for some who didn’t think multitasking to that level was possible! No regrets about posting the photo whatsoever.

FYI, now that she’s weaned her 3-year-old daughter Naia, “I have discovered I have a lot more free Mama time so I have been embracing my inner flame and freedom much more!” You go, Amy. Embrace that inner flame, drink your cycle of the moon cleanse, go to Bjork concerts.