When Maya Vorderstrasse’s first child was six months old, the mum was unable to continue breastfeeding her. She was crushed, until she realised her bond with her child could be just as strong if she used a different feeding method.
On Saturday 23 September, Vorderstrasse posted a gorgeous photo on Instagram that shows her simultaneously breastfeeding her almost two-month-old daughter, Hazel, and formula feeding her 13-month-old daughter, Zoey.
In the caption, she wrote that she became pregnant with Hazel when Zoey was two months old, and by the time Zoey hit six months, Vorderstrasse’s breast milk had dried up. Initially, she was heartbroken, but then she had an important realisation.
“I felt my heart shatter, and the guilt consumed me,” she wrote.
“We had to start bottle feeding and I thought our bond would disappear and that she would think I was not providing for her, until it hit me: nothing had changed.
“It was still our time, she’d still grab my hair and smile at me with her eyes. She was so happy. Fed. Loved.”
Vorderstrasse, who went viral in August for her funny pregnancy letter boards, told HuffPost she’s been giving formula to her oldest for about seven months. She began breastfeeding her youngest daughter after she was born and is still doing so.
The mum-of-two said though no one ever commented on the way she fed her child, she still used to feel ashamed whenever she mixed a bottle for her in public.
“It hasn’t happened to me directly, but my guilt and shame every time I was in public and had to mix a bottle were real,” she told HuffPost.
“I always tried to hide it, and thought that people would judge me for it.”
But now, she’s become confident that she’s no less of a mum for turning to formula when breastfeeding became a struggle.
“Feeding them is beautiful,” she wrote in her post. “Providing for them, seeing them gain weight, grow…