‘So Proud and So Broken’: Mom Shares Super-Relatable Post on Her Last Time Breastfeeding

"I have been nursing for so long, that I don’t know what it’s like to not nurse anymore.”
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Jul 2019

Breastfeeding is a special time for Mom and baby. But like all things in motherhood, it’s a commitment that takes a lot of work. After two years of breastfeeding her daughter—and lots of mixed emotions— Maya Vorderstrasse made the decision to wean her daughter from nursing. “I didn’t know that one person could feel so proud and so broken at the same time,“ she candidly explains in a recent post on Instagram.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusively breastfeeding for six months, then gradually adding in solid foods while continuing to nurse through baby’s first year and beyond. But in reality, whether to breastfeed and how long to breastfeed for isn’t as clear cut of a decision for most parents. There are a lot of factors that weigh in to the choice, and every parent ultimately has to do what is best for them and baby.

After going back and forth multiple times, Vorderstrasse made the decision to wean her daughter after nearly two years of nursing. “I am so done. I want my body back,” she says on social media. “I want her to sleep through the night for the first time; I want to buy her [her] own bed; I want her to allow my husband to comfort her…I am so thankful and proud to have gotten this far, but I am physically and mentally exhausted.”

But when the time came for the last feeding, Vorderstrass’s emotions were in full force. “Right now I am a hormonal, emotional, and mental mess,” she shares. “Raising my arm in this picture was very difficult for me as I had to fight through uncontrollable tears. This picture meant that I would never breastfeed my Hazel ever again. I have been nursing for so long, that I don’t know what it’s like to not nurse anymore…I was her comfort, her safe place, and I hope she still finds me that way.”

To help make the transition easier, she bought her daughter a bed so the little girl could share a room with her older sister. Additionally, Vorderstrasse’s husband, Tim, has taken over the bedtime routine, including all middle of the night disruptions. Needless to say, it’s taken a toll on the mom of two. “The guilt I feel for not putting her to bed is so intense and I can’t wait to go back to it once she doesn’t ask to nurse anymore. Closing a chapter is painful, but I am hopeful that this new season of our lives will also be special in its own way,” she explains. “Through this maturation step she will not only grow more independent, but I will get a much-needed break.”

Letting go of that part of motherhood isn’t easy, but the mom knows it’s the decision that’s best for her and her family. With a little bit of time, and a lot of support from her partner, it’ll get easier. “She unlatched for the last time and sobbingly I said to Tim, ‘I did my best.’ He hugged me and responded with, “no. You did the best, because you gave her your all.’” In the end, after all, giving your best is the greatest gift any parent can give their child.

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