If you're wondering what the difference is between breastfeeding and formula feeding, look no further than Maya Vorderstrasse's recent Instagram post about her two girls.
The mom posted a photo of her formula feeding her 13-month-old daughter, Zoey, and breastfeeding her almost 2-month-old daughter, Hazel, at the same time to prove that fed is best.
But it took a personal roller coaster of emotions for her to finally reach that realization. Vorderstrasse started off her journey as a new mom, as many moms do, with the expectation that breast is best and anything else is a failure.
"I always dreamed I would breastfeed my child as long as I could. I've seen so many beautiful and amazing journeys through the bonding and comforting experience that it is. ... It was our time together, so special. No one could take that from me," the mom wrote.
But when Zoey was 6 months old and Vorderstrasse was four months pregnant with Hazel, the mom's breast milk had dried up.
I will tell you a little about my journey. I always dreamed I would breastfeed my child as long as I could. I've seen so many beautiful and amazing journeys through the bonding and comfortIng experience that it is. I breastfed my first daughter until she was 6 months old, and I loved all of it. It was our time together, so special...and no one could take that from me. I got pregnant when she was 2 months old and by the time she was almost 6 months old, my milk was gone, dried up, like, it disappeared. I felt my heart shatter, and the guilt consumed me. 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. Now I breastfeed my youngest, but the comfort of knowing that if life throws me a curved ball and I have to stop, or even if I decide to stop, she will be ok. Feeding them is beautiful. Providing for them, seeing them gain weight, grow and smile and be milk drunk makes my heart jump in happiness. So I don't know about your journey, but I can tell you that whatever your choice or circumstance, don't ever feel guilty or like you are inadequate. Ever. Just love them and do the best you can. You're a rockstar. No. Matter. What. Whatever your feeding routine consists of, it is hard being a mother, so let's show support for each other! To me, fed is best. . . Dress by @milkmademarket Braid by @madisonbraids
"I felt my heart shatter, and the guilt consumed me. We had to start bottle feeding and I thought our bond would disappear and that she would think I was not providing for her," she confessed.
But here's the thing: Nothing changed. Her baby was still happy and healthy, and bottle feeding didn't make Vorderstrasse any less of a mom.
"It was still our time. She'd still grab my hair and smile at me with her eyes. She was so happy. Fed. Loved," she realized.
YOU GUYS LOOK, I MADE THIS😭!!!!!!!!!!! 1 week ago today, she arrived to prove me that worrying about having a second child is pointless! I was SO concerned that sometimes I couldn't sleep and just cried. But now I literally feel my heart opening up, stretching, adjusting and loving in a SUPERNATURAL way. How can you love another human like you love your first child? It's simple: YOU JUST DO, AND IT FEELS AMAAAAAZIIIINNNGAAAHHHH!!!
The mom has been giving Zoey formula for about seven months and is still breastfeeding Hazel. But if somehow she has to stop or decides to stop breastfeeding, Vorderstrasse knows everything will still be OK. There are so many reasons moms end up not breastfeeding, and the last thing they should feel is guilt.
"Feeding them is beautiful. Providing for them, seeing them gain weight, grow and smile and be milk drunk makes my heart jump in happiness. ... Whatever your choice or circumstance, don't ever feel guilty or like you are inadequate. Ever," she wrote.
Praising our GOD in tears because just like that, our family is complete! Went into labor late at night on her due date, and after ONE push she greeted us with the sweetest cry and the most loving eyes. Welcome to the world, Hazel Marcela. * I will reply to all the messages and comments as soon as I can guys, thank you for all the love and patience. You guys are the best!! 💛
"The Big Bang Theory" star is a passionate advocate of extended breastfeeding, and nursed her son until he was 4. Bialik shares on her blog, "I never ever believed that I would be nursing a child over the age of 3. But now that I am, I believe when he is done, he will be done. I believe that he will not need to nurse before he walks down the aisle to greet his bride ... and I believe that nursing is natural and beautiful and wonderful."