Hilary Duff Shares Why She Stopped Breastfeeding Daughter Banks: ‘I Was Going to Break’

Hilary Duff
Getty Images

'I cried many times and felt so depressed while weening.'

Hilary Duff is getting real about breastfeeding.

Earlier this week, the 31-year-old actress took to Instagram to share why she decided to stop breastfeeding her daughter after six months. Duff and her boyfriend, Matthew Koma, welcomed Banks back in October. The former Lizzie McGuire star also has a 7-year-old son, Luca, from a previous relationship. 

"Last week was my last week nursing Banks (my six month old) 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 alongside a pic of her breastfeeding Banks, before explaining that the decision was made in large part because "pumping at work sucks."

Duff, who stars on Younger, wrote about having "zero down time" on set, being forced to pump with "lots of people around," having to sit upright in order to pump, and the challenge of finding somewhere to sterilize the bottles and keep the milk cold. Aside from that fact, Duff called the pumping machine "aggressive" and lamented its "annoying sound that echoes through your head day and night."

"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," she explained. "Your milk supply drastically drops when you stop feeding as often and lose the actual contact and connection with your baby (?)."

Despite her complaints about breastfeeding, Duff wrote that she "enjoyed (almost) every moment of feeding my daughter."

"[I] felt so lucky to be so close to her and give her that start," she wrote. "I know many women are not able to and for that I am sympathetic and very grateful that I could. For six wonderful months."

However, Duff said that she "needed a break" because she "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 bad a** rock star," she proclaimed. "Moms get high on feeling like superwoman... because we are! Doing too much, because we can! But 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!"

Duff shared that she wanted to open up about her decision because it wasn't an easy one to make, calling it "so emotional and hard."

"I thought about it ALL day everyday. It was a constant loop in my head. Weighing the pros and cons. And half of the time I wasn’t making any sense," she admitted. "It was about me, and not Banks at that point. I cried many times and felt so depressed while weening. 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," she continued. "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."

Despite the difficult decision, Duff shared that she feels "fine and happy and relieved and silly that I even stressed on it so hard" and hasn't fed or pumped in three days.

"It’s crazy how fast you can come out on the other side," she wrote. "... 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 ended her lengthy note with a shout out to all moms out there and with her hope that her honesty will help someone.

"Whether you are pre or postpartum. Or just a busy mom, You are a [superwoman] everyday for all that you do. Always putting yourself last and running a mile a minute...while carrying all of the bags lol," she praised. "Love you all and hope this helps anyone struggling! See you nursing bras✌? until next time!"

Koma certainly appreciated his girlfriend's candid message, calling her "my hero" in the comments section. Other celebs including Jessica Simpson, Vanessa Lachey and Duff's Younger co-stars, Debi Mazar and Sutton Foster, also showed their support for the actress in the comments.


ET spoke with Duff at Amazon Prime Video’s Golden Globes after-party earlier this year, where she confessed that she and Koma "don't really want to leave the house that much these days." 

"I'm really happy, he's amazing," she gushed of her musician beau. "We just stare at our baby and we're like, 'Look what we made. We did this.' And he's such an amazing dad and so supportive and I just feel very happy."