Hilary Duff Posts Candid Breastfeeding Pic, Opens Up About Deciding to Stop After 6 Months
"Pumping at work sucks," Hilary Duff said about pumping breastmilk while on the set of Younger.
Hilary Duff is opening up about the realities of being a working mother.
The actress, 31, shared a compelling Instagram post on Tuesday in which she revealed she had stopped breastfeeding her 6-month-old daughter Banks because she was struggling to pump breastmilk while filming on the set of her TV show, Younger.
Duff shared a sweet photo of herself breastfeeding Banks and began her message with, “THIS ONE’S FOR THE LADIES Just a few thoughts that I wanted to share on Breast-feeding [sic].”
“Last week was my last week nursing Banks (my six month old),” she wrote. “I am a working mom of two. My goal was to get my little girl to six months and then decide if I (and her of course) wanted to keep going.”
The actress continued, “Let me tell you. Pumping at work sucks. I had zero downtime and am usually pumping in a hair and makeup trailer while four hands work to get me ready for the next scene with lots of other people around. Even if I had the luxury to be in my own room, it’s not even considered a ‘break’ because you have to sit upright for the milk to flow into the bottles!”
Pumping with a machine also wasn’t comfortable for the former Disney Channel star, who shares Banks with boyfriend Matthew Koma.
“Plus you are having your damn nipples tugged at by an aggressive machine that makes an annoying sound, that echoes through your head day and night (I swear that machine and I had many conversations at midnight and 3 am)!” she revealed. “Ttttthen having to find someplace to sterilize bottles and keep your milk cold (ok I’m done with that rant lol)!”
Duff is also a mother to her 7-year-old son Luca, whom she shares with her ex-husband and NHL player Mike Comrie. The star wrote her experience breastfeeding her son was a far cry from what it was like with Banks.
“I didn’t know this because with Luca I didn’t work until he was about nine months old, so I didn’t pump very often. Your milk supply drastically drops when you stop feeding as often and lose the actual contact and connection with your baby,” Duff explained. “So I was eating all the feunugreek [sic] goats butt blessed thistle fennel cookies/drops/shakes/pills I could get my hands on! It was maddening.”
Despite her struggles, Duff did express joy at sharing the experience with her daughter.
“Felt so lucky to be so close to her and give her that start. I know many women are not able to and for that I am sympathetic and very grateful that I could. For six wonderful months,” she wrote. “But I needed a break. I was going to break. With the stress of a dropping milk supply and a baby that was getting bored or not caring about nursing when I was available to.”
Duff continued, “I was sad and frustrated and feeling like a failure all of the time. When really I’m a bad ass rock star. Moms get high on feeling like superwoman…because we are! Doing too much, because we can! KEEP READING in the comments below.”
In the comments of her post, Duff added, “But somehow stuck on the feeling we can always do a little more! We are strong as hell over-achievers. I am amazed at all that we can do in one single day! That goes for myself, my mom friends, my mom, or my sister! I’m talking to you too mom, I don’t know who’s reading this.”
Duff wrote she decided to share her outlook because stopping breastfeeding “was so emotional and hard.”
“I thought about it ALL day everyday. It was a constant loop in my head. Weighing the pros and cons,” she wrote. “And half of the time I wasn’t making any sense. It was about me, and not Banks at that point. I cried many times and felt so depressed while weening. I wasn’t myself at all. Something scary was hovering over my brain and my heart…the part of me that I know is smart and rational.”
“The lows felt horrible. I was missing good time with my baby. But I was really missing that natural oxytocin high,” she explained. “Those chemicals are powerful hormones and no joke. I am happy to say that I haven’t fed or pumped in three days and it’s crazy how fast you can come out on the other side.”
Duff added she felt “fine and happy and relieved and silly that I even stressed on it so hard.”
“Banks is thriving and I get even more time with her and daddy gets to do more feeds! And mommy gets a tiny bit more sleep!” she said. “Whether you are pre or postpartum. Or just a busy mom, You are a everyday for all that you do. Always putting yourself last and running a mile a minute…while carrying all of the bags lol. Love you all and hope this helps anyone struggling! See you nursing bras until next time!”
Duff and Koma welcomed their daughter on October 25.
Season 6 of Younger premieres June 12 on TV Land.
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This article originally appeared on People.com