When Hilary Duff welcomed daughter Mae into the world last month, her oldest child was right by her side.
Duff, 33, tells the "Informed Pregnancy" podcast that son Luca, 9, was on hand for the at-home water birth.
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The “Younger” star said Luca, whom she had with ex-husband Mike Comrie, walked in “right as I was pulling the baby out,” while daughter Banks, 2, whom she shares with husband Matthew Koma, showed up following the birth.
"He wanted to be there for it, but it happened so fast he missed it," she said, noting that the labor and delivery lasted a little more than three hours.
Duff said she believes Luca needed to be there so he could see what women go through bringing another life into the world.
"It was kind of important for me because 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 for me to normalize that conversation with him for all the women that are going to be in his life."
Duff also said the experience is a way to teach her son that men are not necessarily better.
"I think that sometimes a 9-year-old boy is like, 'Well, men have bigger muscles,' and, yeah, but we bring life into this world. We move a baby through our body," she said. "There is a big topic of conversation in the house right now: equality, and strength coming from different places besides your muscles or whatever."
She also said it’s important he understand how there are multiple ways to deliver a baby.
"I want him to someday, when he's ready to have a child with his partner or wife or whatever, I want him to be able to respect the way that she wants to be able to have a baby, and if that's at home, that can be at home, if that's in a hospital, it will be hospital,” she said.