Hilary Duff paused for a moment on Instagram to reflect on her journey breastfeeding her 6-month-old, Banks Violet Bair. After six months, the mom of two has decided to make the switch over to formula. Like any new mom, the actress grappled with conflicting feelings, but ultimately realized she was making the best decision for herself and her baby.
Duff’s goal was to breastfeed her daughter for six months. At that point, she would decide on their next move. Now that Banks is six months old, the working mom of two was faced with the tough decision. “Pumping at work sucks,” she blatantly shares. “I [have] 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.”
With her firstborn, Luca, she waited until he was nine months old to return to work, which allowed her to exclusively breastfeed most of the time as opposed to pumping. But, as she quickly discovered, pumping regularly is a whole other monster to tame.
It meant her sacred time between scenes was now devoted to pumping breast milk for later. “It’s not even considered a ‘break’ because you have to sit upright for the milk to flow into the bottles. Plus, you’re having your damn nipples tugged at by an aggressive machine that makes an annoying sound that echoes through your head day and night,” she vents.
“Your milk supply drastically drops when you stop feeding as often and lose the actual contact and connection with your baby.” To make up for this, Duff tried introducing all kinds of lactation cookies and snacks into her diet in hopes of increasing her supply. “It was maddening,” she says.
Don’t be mistaken. She’s grateful for those special moments she was blessed with while nursing her daughter for the first six months of her life. “[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,” she says. Ultimately, however, it’s a chapter she was ready to close. “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 rockstar.”
She’s got that right. Jana Kramer had a similar epiphany when she was struggling to breastfeed her newborn. It’s easy to beat yourself up and make lists of all the ways you think you’re letting your child down. In fact, a recent survey revealed most parents feel like failures during baby’s first year. While it’s easy to tick off all the things you think you’re doing wrong, don’t forget to list all of the incredible ways you are raising your tiny human to be a happy and healthy baby. In the end, it’s what matters most.