The Meddler actress talks breastfeeding, motherhood and being a grandma

Susan Sarandon has something to add to the sometimes-heated debate surrounding breastfeeding.

“Nursing can be really, really challenging,” Sarandon, 69, said during a Q&A after a MOMS-hosted special screening of her new film The Meddler, in which she plays Rose Byrne‘s overbearing mother.

“I was very lucky in terms of nursing, but every baby doesn’t respond the same way, and then you get mastitis and it hurts if you choose to nurse — not everybody does. And then the relationship with the pump really becomes a nightmare.”

Susan Sarandon

Adela Loconte/WireImage

Sarandon, a mother of three – daughter Eva Amurri Martino, 31, and sons Miles, 23, and Jack Henry Robbins, 26 — also shared her own experiences with nursing.

“The first time, I had a [breast pump] unit in my house that looked like an iron lung that I had to rent from Bigelow’s because they were the only ones that had it,” the actress said. “This was 30 years ago.”

Her daughter – who is pregnant with her second child – has had it a bit easier, fortunately. “Now, my daughter [pumps] both [breasts] at the same time with this little tiny machine and she had a whole system in place,” Sarandon said of Amurri Martino, who has daughter Marlowe Mae and is expecting a son this fall with husband Kyle Martino.

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Sarandon advised soon-to-be mothers: “What I always tell any woman who’s telling me they’re thinking of having a baby is that no matter how involved or well-intentioned your baby daddy or husband is, it is up to you in the beginning. That’s the way it’s designed, there’s just no getting around that.”

She continued, “Try to have the best time you can with the birth and everything else because it’s a pretty crazy, sci-fi adventure. Try not to think you have to be perfect.”

Luckily, being a grandmother has been a piece of cake for Sarandon, who calls doting on her grandchild “so much easier” than raising children.

“You realize the constant worry you have as a mom or just at least anticipating that you have as a mom that you don’t have as a grandma,” she said. “When something happens or she gets a cold, I’m just like, ‘Yeah, well she’ll get over it.’ ”

Sarandon has also taken pleasure in treating Marlowe. “I’m gonna ingratiate myself by breaking every rule and handing her back after the weekend,” she admitted.

— Maggie Parker