Hilary Duff Opens Up About Her Home Water Birth with Daughter Banks: 'It Was, Like, Five Pushes'
Hilary Duff is sharing her daughter’s birth story with the world.
The actress, 31, opened up on Dr. Elliot Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy podcast in a interview published Thursday that was recorded 10 days after the arrival of her second child, daughter Banks Violet, on Oct. 25.
Duff revealed she went into labor at 12:30 a.m. and reached out to her doula and midwives around 2 a.m., expecting her labor to progress more quickly since it was her second child but finding out that wasn’t the case. On the contrary, she was in labor “for a really long time” before it was time to start pushing.
And though she tried to stay calm herself, the actress couldn’t help but have a few outbursts. At one point, she told boyfriend Matthew Koma after he encouraged her to try to relax, “You have to shut up. You’re going to die if you say that again!”
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Duff’s contractions never came really close together, which made her feel “frustrated” in wondering why her labor wasn’t progressing the way her midwives had hoped.
But soon enough, after a few more contractions, one of her midwifes checked her cervix and told her it was time for her to get into the birthing tub, which Duff called “such a happy moment and also scary.”
Once she got to the pushing experience, things went much more quickly. “It was, like, five pushes,” said the Lizzie McGuire alum, but, “That part didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it was going to.”
“I was scared it was going to be extreme pain in my vagina and it was not like that,” she clarified. “It was very painful in my hips and then it was more scary [in] just the overall bigness of what was happening than, ‘Ow, this hurts too bad, I can’t do it again.’ ”
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At one point, Koma, 31, and Duff’s midwives were holding her up while she was pushing, which Duff explained was necessary because she “couldn’t hold [her] weight up in the tub” anymore. “It was taking so much to push that I couldn’t hold myself up,” she recalled.
Banks “needed a couple of breaths” from one of the midwives and was blue at first, which Duff knew not to be scared of because her son came out blue as well. But once her mom talked to her and they gave her a little while, Banks responded in the most surprisingly beautiful way.
“They hand her to me and I’m looking at her … and she reaches up both of her arms and curls into me … reaches up her arms right at my neck, as if to give me a hug,” she recalled. “I couldn’t believe how strong she was but it was so clearly a hug. … It made me feel like she was like, ‘Good team, Mom, we did it.’ ”
Despite its challenges, Duff admitted of home birth that she “would totally do it again” and had a wonderful, supportive team by her side that included Koma, Luca, the family dogs and Duff’s mom and sister Haylie Duff.
While Luca wasn’t present for the birth and “was not necessarily stoked to have a sibling in the beginning,” once he entered the room after Banks’ arrival, a “huge smile” crossed his lips and he showed a protective nature toward his new little sister.
Banks’ name has multiple family ties, even if they weren’t intentional. As Duff explained, the couple agreed on the moniker “right away” and just loved it in general after initially thinking they would name their daughter Violet, which turned into her middle name.
But two days before the actress and singer gave birth, Koma Googled the name “Banks Bair” (Bair is his given last name) and the duo got a big surprise.
“He found relatives — Bair (ancestors) or whatever — that were William Banks Bair. Two of them. Isn’t that insane?” she said. “So it’s actually a family name.”