April 14, 2012 12:00 PM

INF

She welcomed her first child on March 20 and is already regaining her body after baby, but Hilary Duff is taking the postpartum weightloss slow and steady.

After all, she adds, what’s the rush?

“I don’t have a project waiting on me that I have to bust my butt to get into shape for so it’s more about how I feel,” the actress, 24, tells PARADE while promoting her charity initiative with Johnson’s Baby Cares and Save the Children.

“I like working out since it makes me feel more clear-headed and positive.”

Duff, who did Pilates and yoga during her pregnancy, had “really missed getting my butt kicked,” and was excited to get back to her exercise regimen — until she signed on to her Twitter account.

“Then I read comments on my Twitter page about how I’m waddling into Pilates and I go, ‘Wow, that’s a really mean thing to say. I just had a baby three weeks ago!'” she shares.

“There is a little bit of pressure, but most of it comes from me.”

But the workouts have provided Duff with much more than a slimmer figure; She admits leaving her newborn son Luca Cruz in the hands of her mom and husband Mike Comrie has benefited her relationships — namely her marriage — in ways she could never have imagined.

“Despite my best intentions, I have to learn to let go of the way I do things. My mom has been taking Luca while I do Pilates for an hour and I had to stop giving her directions about how I changed Luca’s diaper,” Duff says.

The new mom has also come to the same realization with Comrie, who, despite not “doing everything the way I would do it,” is still tackling daddy duty full force.

“It’s helped me appreciate Mike’s role in [Luca’s] life and that we’re doing things with the most love that we can. He’s really hands on and I appreciate any little help I can get,” she notes.

The author and Comrie are now the proud parents of a 3-week-old and while there was some speculation surrounding their name choice, Duff reveals that there is no “rhyme or reason” behind the moniker.

“There is no good story behind it, which is kind of sad. We just liked the way it sounded together,” she explains. “We were thinking of Cruz as a first name and were just mixing and matching it with things on our list and came up with it. Afterwards we found out his name means ‘bringer of light.’ I love that!”

Receiving a lot of support from her sister Haylie — both during the pregnancy and now that Luca has arrived — Duff is excited for her baby boy to be a big brother … some day!

“Right now, I’m focused on being the best mom I can be and when I start working again, I’ll see how I juggle everything,” she says. “But then again, my sister and I are very close so I want Luca to have someone close [to his age] — but not too close!”

— Anya Leon

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