Hilary Duff recently opened up about her emotional decision to stop breastfeeding her 6-month-old daughter, Banks. Despite feeling pangs of guilt at first, the 31-year-old mom of two and Younger actressfinally realized it was the best decision for her family, and shared her reasoning on Instagram.
"Last week was my last week nursing Banks (my 6-month-old)," she shared. "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. Let me tell you. Pumping at work sucks. 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."
Hilary explained that even if she had the opportunity to pump in private, it still wasn't exactly relaxing. "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. "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 a.m.)!"
She continued: "Then having to find someplace to sterilize bottles and keep your milk cold. Anyway, 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. So I was eating all the feunugreek goat's butt blessed thistle fennel cookies/drops/shakes/pills I could get my hands on! It was maddening."
Despite the fact breastfeeding had its challenges, Hilary is beyond thankful to have had the experience.
With all of this complaining, I want to say I enjoyed (almost) every moment of feeding my 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. 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, I was sad and frustrated and feeling like a failure all of the time when really I'm a badass rock star.
Ultimately, Hilary believes mothers should cut themselves a little slack every once in a while. "Moms get high on feeling like superwoman . . . because we are doing too much, because we can!" she explained. "But somehow we're stuck on the feeling we can always do a little more! We are strong as hell overachievers. 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 breastfeeding was so emotional and hard. I thought about it ALL day every day. It was a constant loop in my head. Weighing the pros and cons and half of the time I wasn't making any sense."
"It was about me, and not Banks at that point," she said. "I cried many times and felt so depressed while [weaning]. 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. 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."
She wrapped up the post by assuring her fans she's finally feeling a little bit better: "I feel fine and happy and relieved and silly that I even stressed on it so hard," she said. "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 . . . Love you all and hope this helps anyone struggling!"