Mom Feeds 1 Daughter Breast Milk, the Other Formula -- & Feels Zero Guilt

Maya Vorderstrasse
mayavorderstrasse/Instagram

Breast milk versus formula is one of those parenting topics where moms have very strong opinions. And typically whatever way you decide to feed your first baby, breast milk or formula, you stick with that method for any additional babies you have. But with one gorgeous Instagram photo, one mom is challenging the idea of having to pick a team at all when it comes to feeding our kids. 

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Maya Vorderstrasse is a mom of two beautiful little girls who were born less than a year apart. Showing off the biceps only earned by moms of twins and those who have two under two, she posted a photo of herself feeding her older daughter Zoey a bottle while breastfeeding her infant Hazel at the same time.

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mom breastfeeds and formula feeds at same time
mayavorderstrasse/Instagram

The photo is impressive for her multitasking skills alone. Also because even with a toddler and an infant she somehow manages to have super shiny, fairy-tale princess tresses, and we want to know her secret. But the reason why it's received over 10,000 likes so far is because that's not pumped breast milk in Zoey's bottle -- it's formula.

Vorderstrasse explains how she always envisioned a long breastfeeding relationship with her children, but things don't always go according to plan. "I always dreamed I would breastfeed my child as long as I could," she writes. "I've seen so many beautiful and amazing journeys through the bonding and [comforting] experience that it is."

For the first six months of Zoey's life, she breastfed, and Mom was lucky enough to love every second of it. "It was our time together, so special ... and no one could take that from me," she remembers.

Maya Vorderstrasse
mayavorderstrasse/Instagram

But getting pregnant with Hazel when Zoey was just 2 months old meant her hormones were going wild, and her supply suffered. When Zoey was 6 months old, she started drinking formula. Vorderstrasse said the guilt she felt over not breastfeeding was intense, until she had a lightbulb moment -- that special bond was still there. 

"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 that Hazel has made her earthside debut, Vordestrasse is breastfeeding her, and having no issues so far. But she says the experience of her milk drying up and using formula with Zoey helps her not stress when it comes to feeding baby Hazel. "Now I breastfeed my youngest, but [I have] 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."

mom holding toddler and infant
mayavorderstrasse/Instagram

When you have more than one child, it's easy to put pressure on yourself to love them equally and raise them exactly the same. But sometimes life has other plans, and feeding them formula doesn't mean you won't bond with your child or love them any less than if you feed them breast milk. You're doing your job as a parent, and that's what matters. "Feeding them is beautiful," she writes. "Providing for them, seeing them gain weight, grow and smile and be milk drunk makes my heart jump in happiness."

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Parenting is hard enough already -- especially if you've got more than one baby to feed! Vorderstrasse's photo reminds us to be kind to ourselves, and to trust our parenting instincts. As she writes: "...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 rock star. No. Matter. What."

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