Hilary Duff Opens Up About Her Decision to Stop Breastfeeding After Six Months
The actress wants women to know that breastfeeding is a personal decision and that it's okay to put your needs first.
We're obsessed with Younger star Hilary Duff for so many reasons. The former Shape cover girl is a body-positive role model who has no problem keeping it real with her fans. Case in point: the time she opened up about celebrating a body part she "didn't always love".
Recently though, she decided to open up even more to her fans by sharing her decision to stop breastfeeding her daughter Banks at six months. In an emotional post, the actress said that quitting the practice is a personal decision for every woman and that, when you're a mom, it's okay to put your needs first.
"I am a working mom of two," said Duff. "My goal was to get my little girl to six months and then decide if I (and her of course) wanted to keep going."
She added that her crazy work schedule made it even more difficult for her to pump. “Pumping at work sucks,” she wrote.
For Duff, pumping on the set of Younger usually meant sitting in a chair, in a trailer, surrounded by people while getting her hair and makeup done.
"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!" she wrote. "Then having to find someplace to sterilize bottles and keep your milk cold."
Then there was the issue of her milk supply slowing down.
"Your milk supply drastically drops when you stop feeding as often and lose the actual contact and connection with your baby," she shared. "So I was eating all the fenugreek goats butt blessed thistle fennel cookies/drops/shakes/pills I could get my hands on! It was maddening."
While her journey with breastfeeding was challenging at times, Duff couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to nourish her daughter for as long as she did.
"With all of this complaining, I want to say I enjoyed (almost) every moment of feeding my daughter," she wrote. “(I) 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."
But it came to a point where Duff knew she needed to put herself first. "I needed a break,” she wrote. "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. I was sad and frustrated and feeling like a failure all of the time."
Duff isn't the only one to feel this way. Last year, Serena Williams shared how she "cried a little" after she stopped breastfeeding her daughter Alexis Olympia. "For my body, [breastfeeding] didn't work, no matter how much I worked out, no matter how much I did; it didn't work for me," she said during a news conference at the time.
Even Khloé Kardashian felt like the practice just wasn't for her. "It was really hard for me to stop (emotionally) but it wasn't working for my body. Sadly," she tweeted last year.
While there are plenty of moms out there who have no problem breastfeeding for months, if not years, it's definitely not for everyone. Yes, there are tons of benefits of breastfeeding, but some women naturally don't produce enough milk, some babies aren't able to "latch on," other health issues can prevent the practice entirely, and sometimes it's just too darn painful. (Related: This Woman's Heartbreaking Confession About Breastfeeding Is #SoReal)
Regardless of the reason, choosing not to breastfeed is a personal decision—one that no mom should be ashamed to make. That's why it's important for celebs to share their experiences with other women who may be feeling guilty about their decision to stop breastfeeding.
To those women, Duff says: "(We are) 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 wanted to share this because deciding to stop BFing was so emotional and hard."
At the end of the day, quitting breastfeeding was a decision that benefited both Duff and her baby—and that's what matters most.
"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," she wrote, ending her post. "I feel 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!"