A Mum Shows There is No One Way to Feed a Baby With Viral Photo
A picture can tell a thousand words, and this Instagram photo by Maya Vorderstrasse is beautiful and captivates the ‘fed is best’ mantra we promote here on Go Ask Mum.
The mother-of-two under two, shared a personal post about her breastfeeding journey and dealing with feelings of guilt and shame when she could no longer breastfeed her firstborn.
When her first child, Zoey, was 2 months old, Maya fell pregnant with her second child. At 6 months, Maya’s breastmilk dried up, so she had to use formula to feed Zoey. She felt heartbroken that her milk had dried up.
“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.”
More than 6 months later, Maya is now breastfeeding her 2-month old daughter, Hazel, and is formula feeding her 13-month old, Zoey. Maya shared a photo of herself, feeding both of her children simultaneously to encourage other mums with their feeding journey.
“Feeding them is beautiful,” she wrote in her post. “Providing for them, seeing them gain weight, grow and smile and be milk drunk makes my heart jump in happiness.”
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
The HuffPost asked the mum what advice she could give to other mums, struggling with inferior feelings because they have to formula feed.
Maya stressed that feeding your baby, whether via breast or formula is an “act of love”.
“They’ll always admire, love and bond with you no matter how you choose to feed them,” she told HuffPost. “Strangers don’t know your story and have no say on how you choose to parent and care for your child. Motherhood is wonderful and challenging as it is, so put aside the pressure and guilt and simply do your best to love and care for them.”
Fed is best and fed is loved. Gotta love that perspective when it comes to the breastfeeding versus formula debate.
You can read the mum’s full post here.