When Hilary Duff welcomed her daughter Banks at home last October, we cheered for her and respected her choice.
When she posted a photo of herself pumping breastmilk at work, we again cheered for her and respected her choice.
And now, Duff has announced that she’s done with breastfeeding. And once again, we know she’s making the right choice for herself, and we are totally cheering for her.
“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,” Duff wrote in a recent Instagram post explaining her decision (not that she owed anyone an explanation).
data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);">
When her oldest, 7-year-old Luca, was a baby Duff didn’t go back to work until he was 9 months old. She was back to work very quickly after Banks was born, and found that (as so many mothers have discovered) it is really difficult to work and pump.
Most of the time, Duff’s only chance to pump was in hair and makeup, in front of her co-workers who were styling her. It wasn’t ideal, and neither was trying to find someplace to store her milk and sterilize bottles. Last week, Duff decided to switch Banks to formula.
“I needed a break. I was going to break,” she writes. “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 ass rock star.”
Duff’s story proves a really serious point: If even a working mom with all the privilege Duff has can’t make it work, something is broken.
Nearly half of new moms say it can feel like they’re having to choose between breastfeeding or job growth, and according to a study published in the journal Women’s Health Issues, women who work in lower-paying fields are much less likely to have access to pump breaks or a place to pump at work than high-income earners like Duff.
Whether you keep breastfeeding can depend a lot on where you work and whether your colleagues are supportive of your breastfeeding and pumping.
In the end, plenty of working mothers come to the same conclusion as Duff did. We have to take care of ourselves, too, and that’s totally okay. Stopping breastfeeding is right for some women! Just like never breastfeeding in the first place is right for others. We’re glad that Duff is coming to terms with her guilt because she doesn’t need to feel guilty about this.
This is another choice that we are cheering her on for.