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Hilary Duff on Labor, Breastfeeding, and Postpartum

Hilary Duff Opened Up About Her Home Birth Experience and Her Struggle With Breastfeeding

Hilary Duff recently discussed her experience with her third pregnancy and how difficult breastfeeding was for her in an episode of the Informed Pregnancy Podcast with Dr. Elliot Berlin. She shared how she immediately texted her midwife when her water broke around midnight, then explained that the labor process lasted about three hours after she began having contractions.

"[I heard] third babies can be your wild card, where your contractions will like come in, and then they'll go away, and then come in, and then they'll go away, but not like with any kind of consistency," the 33-year-old mom of three explained. "So I was, like, already annoyed that nothing was happening all day, so I was trying not to get my hopes up."

After timing her contractions, she realized they were coming three to four minutes apart and immediately called her husband, Matt Koma, to tell him to come home from running an errand. "[I felt the contractions] all in the front of my stomach," she said. "Last time with Banks, I was feeling them a lot more in my back. Some of my friends have had back labor, so I don't think it was like that. It was just like a crazy rapping sensation where like that counterpressure really felt good. I felt it so much in my lower pelvic area with this baby."

When asked if having a home birth helped her relax or reduce the pain, Hilary stated that she still had incredible moments of discomfort at times. "I think that I can keep my focus and feel gratitude and maybe a little bit of a combination of like bliss, of like my baby and I working together," she said. "But I don't feel any of that pleasure [or] balance."

The Younger star then discussed where her daughter's sweet name, Mae, came from. "Both of [Matt and my] moms were born in May, so we thought that was a cute little homage to our mothers. And we obviously spelled it different than the month of May, but that's just because we liked the spelling better," she explained, adding that she and Matt just simply liked the middle name "James."

"All of the babies latch really great; I'm just not a huge milk producer, and so it's emotional for me."

She also shared how she prepared her 9-year-old son, Luca, for the birth experience. Although the process happened so fast that her son missed seeing his baby sister come into the world, she wanted to be candid with her son about what labor and delivery is like. "I'm really big on being open and honest with him about how strong women are and what childbirth looks like," she said. "He knows all about periods, and it's important to me to normalize that conversation with him for all the women that are gonna be in his life."

Hilary then detailed how her breastfeeding experience varied with her kiddos. "Breastfeeding [is] really hard for me. I'd say it was the easiest with Luca," she said. "All of the babies latch really great; I'm just not a huge milk producer, and so it's emotional for me. But this is the first baby that I haven't supplemented with yet, so I've just exclusively been breastfeeding her. I'm going to keep trying that for a couple of weeks."

She continued, "It's just still painful, and it's just hard, and it's even harder having the other two that I know need me so much, and this takes up such a huge portion of the day. It seems like every 20 minutes, I'm feeding the baby, and I have to be, you know, sitting in one place, and Banks is still not quite old enough to understand, even though she has been amazing with the baby. It's just hard."

Hilary also mentioned that she has anxiety about producing enough milk. "Right now, I don't know that I'm not producing as much as I need, but I think since I haven't in the past, I have tons of anxiety that I'm not and that she's not getting enough, and then I'm in my head, and then I don't feel like enough, and then, you know, the spiral continues from there," she said. "I'm not even at week three yet, so I need to just sit back and chill and trust that my body is doing the right thing. And she's gaining weight."

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