Dad’s Photo of Mom-of-6 ‘Breastercising’ Stirs Debate
A proud husband’s photo of his wife working out has sparked controversy on Facebook because it shows the mother-of-six doing lunges while simultaneously breastfeeding in a maneuver that he hashtagged, #breastercising.
“I caught Sharny multitasking today. In public. #breastercising,” Julius Kieser, an Australian personal trainer, wrote on Facebook in a caption of the image posted Jan. 26, revealing his wife exercising while nursing their 2-week-old son, Magnus. “I don’t get the whole breastfeeding in public problem. It’s not disgusting at all.”
But judging from the comments on the image, Facebook readers didn’t have a problem with Sharny breastfeeding in public. The problem some had is the double duty she was showing off. “Cut the multitasking crap for 10 [minutes] and enjoy the one on one time with your child,” one commenter replied in part. “We are/were all busy mums but I think our children deserve us to be completely in the moment with them.” Another added, “I honestly don’t understand why it’s necessary to exercise whilst breastfeeding? Is it even comfortable? Can you concentrate on doing the exercise properly?” A third simply asked, “Why?”
The 35-year-old mother, also a trainer, offered an explanation the following day. “A lot of people think it’s gross or strange or that I should be bonding with Magnus, but I feed six times a day, I’m not exercising every time and when I do I’m also watching the kids ride around on their scooters and play outside,” Sharny told the Daily Mail Australia about the controversial photo. “It’s not like I’m running or leg pressing or doing weights, I’m doing squats and lunges as they are the easiest things to do while feeding,” she added. “Then at night we sit quietly and feed.”
Exercising, after all, is nonnegotiable for the self-described “Fit Mum” who runs fitness programs and penned the Healthy Junk cookbook, inspired by her own journey losing the roughly 66 pounds she’d accumulated after her first three children. “I felt like a terrible mother, and that it was just going to be this way forever until something externally changed for me,” Sharny writes on her website. So in the 12 weeks after she welcomed her fourth child, she said she dedicated herself to getting in shape — and lost 52 pounds. “No longer was I afraid of exercise, I learned to LOVE it.”
Then after welcoming her fourth child, the fitness guru told Daily Mail Australia in 2015 that she had another “enough is enough” moment,” when she looked at herself in the mirror and “was like, ‘Oh my god, who has eaten Sharny?’ I felt like this fat old woman and that’s how I saw myself … It was all in my head but I just felt miserable.”
So for her fifth and sixth pregnancies, the mother got serious about staying fit while she was expecting, to help shed her baby weight more quickly afterward. “Walking, squatting, and doing things makes me feel better and feel good,” she said, adding, “With Hugo, my fifth child, I waited a few months before exercising again and it was much harder. If I wait less time I bounce back faster.”