Hilary Duff recently welcomed her third child into the world and now she's opening up about some of the more personal details of her at-home water birth. In a conversation with Dr. Berlin for the Informed Pregnancy Podcast, she says she really wanted her 9-year-old son Luca to be present for the birth of his littlest sister, Mae.
Duff said it was important to her that her son witness the strength that goes into childbirth firsthand. Duff and her husband Matthew Koma share daughter Banks, 2, and Luca is Duff's son with her ex-husband, Mike Comrie.
The birth of little Mae was a family affair from start to big finish, she told Dr. Berlin.
"I think that sometimes a 9-year-old boy is like, 'Well, men have bigger muscles,' and, like, 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."
Luca arrived just in the nick of time—his mom was literally pulling his sister out from her body when he got there. She says the birth happened "so fast, he almost missed it." But he did get to witness his little sister right as she entered the world, so there's that.
Not only does Duff raise her son to value and honor childbirth, but she also says she normalizes all things body talk—even when it comes to reproduction.
"It was kind of important for me [for Luca to be there] because I'm really big on being open and honest with him about how strong women are and what childbirth looks like," says Duff. "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."
Hooray for mamas that keep it real with their kids and normalize topics like this at a young age. This is one really valuable way to combat toxic masculinity and it shows her son that there's no shame in the menstruation game (or anything else).
She also wanted her son to see that there are "many ways" to give birth, and that each of those ways deserves respect.
"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 says. "There's many different ways."
Cheers to that.