"I had already hired the lactation consultant and she made it seem so easy," Erika Christensen reveals of learning to breastfeed daughter Shane


Erika Christensen is opening up about her initial struggle to nurse her daughter Shane in the latest PEOPLE Celeb Parents Get Real segment.

“The only time I actually cried was after I had already hired the lactation consultant, and she made it seem so easy. Then she left and I tried on my own and I still couldn’t figure it out,” says Christensen, 35.

The actress adds, “It took a good while to get the nursing to click.” the Ten Days in the Valley star says the frustration made her cry, and lament, ” ‘I can’t do it.’ ”

“And then I got myself together and tried again,” she explains.

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Christensen shares Shane, 16 months Saturday, with husband Cole Maness. Further opening up about the effect breastfeeding had on her postpartum body, she admits, “The nursing just took it out of me.”

“It requires so much energy to nurse your child — that’s really what did it for me,” the Parenthood alum says of losing the baby weight. “You burn a lot of calories.”

She was also active even through her third trimester. “Toward the end of the pregnancy, I was totally willing to go hiking, which was awesome. And so I tried to capitalize on that and get out there.”

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Christensen’s baby girl already has an independent, curious streak — and she does have those expected outbursts once in a while. “If we’re in public, she’s so interested in wherever we are and whoever’s around,” says the star.

“But there have been a couple times where she’s crying on an airplane or something,” continues the mother of one, adding with a laugh, “[And we’re like], ‘Plug the hole! We got a leak! Where’s a bottle or a pacifier or something?’ ”