Hilary Duff decided to stop breastfeeding her daughter, Banks, at 6 months old, and she wants other moms to know that’s OK.
She opened up about the emotional decision to stop breastfeeding in a recent, lengthy Instagram post.
“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,” Duff wrote.
She said that her hectic work schedule on the set of her TV Land series, “Younger,” made it difficult to pump.
“Let me tell you. Pumping at work sucks,” she wrote. “I had zero down time 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!" she said. "Ttttthen having to find someplace to sterilize bottles and keep your milk cold.”
She also revealed that she had been struggling with her milk supply.
“Your milk supply drastically drops when you stop feeding as often and lose the actual contact and connection with your baby,” she wrote. “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.”
Duff, who welcomed Banks last October with her partner, Matthew Koma, also said she was thankful for the opportunity to breastfeed her daughter 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 I needed a break,” she said. “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.”
The actress said she wanted to share her experience to help any moms who might be feeling guilty or conflicted about stopping breastfeeding.
“(We are) somehow stuck on the feeling we can always do a little more! We are strong-as-hell over-achievers,” she wrote. “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. I wanted to share this because deciding to stop BFing was so emotional and hard.”
She finished by saying that Banks has been thriving since she made the transition from breastfeeding.
“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 said. “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!”
Duff is never one to hold back when it comes to sharing the joys and frustrations of parenting. Back in January, she shared a hilariously honest photo of what pumping is actually like.
She also opened up about the relatable struggle of dealing with a baby with colic.
“Calling all parents of colic babies.....this ends right?” she wrote on Instagram. “Can you ever set them down without them screaming OR waking up?”
And in an inspiring post from December, she wrote about the importance of holding onto your own sense of self, even as a busy parent.
Thanks for always keeping it real, Hil!