The actress is giving us a glimpse at how she brought her third baby into the world—and honoring all birthing people, regardless of how they deliver.

By Zara Hanawalt
July 14, 2021
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An image of Hilary Duff on a colorful background.
Credit: Getty Images. Art: Jillian Sellers.

Nearly four months after giving birth to her third child, Hilary Duff is giving us a glimpse at the way she brought her daughter, Mae James Bair, into the world—and we can't get enough of the raw (and absolutely stunning) photos.

Duff opted for an at-home water birth, and while she gave us a black-and-white shot of a moment following Mae's birth to announce her arrival, now she's showing us a full rundown of how the "birth day" went down. The photos show images of Duff in the moments before her baby arrived—she bounces on a birthing ball, which has been shown to induce labor, and leans against her husband, Matthew Koma, for support.

For Duff, being surrounded by support is essential when giving birth. "For me to feel safe during birth and get to where I need to go, it's crucial to have the right support system," she writes alongside the photos. "The perfect amount of space, counter-pressure, humor, stillness and people that support my power."

Duff's support system includes her husband; her Younger co-star Molly Bernard, who is also her doula; and her mother. "The help that I have to support my other children while I am not able is maybe the most comforting thought of all," Duff adds.

But her support team isn't the only group Duff honors in this post—she also shouts out all mothers everywhere, regardless of how they welcome their children into this world. There's a lot of division (and, quite frankly, judgment) where birthing choices are concerned, and delivering at home isn't for everyone. But Duff makes one thing clear: Even if you weren't able to or chose not to give birth in the same type of setting she did, she celebrates the way you deliver...and all the things you do afterwards.

"This is hard work…every way a woman brings a baby in is," she writes. "From getting pregnant, to c-sections, hospital or home births, the breast feeding journey (oy vey that one gets me every time) and raising these little beings responsibly to be stand up, confidant [sic], kind citizens of the world. It's completely consuming. A tedious, magical, miraculous adventure…So cheers almighty mothers. You make mountains move daily."

Not surprisingly, Duff's photos are eliciting plenty of love from followers—after all, they perfectly highlight how painful and intense yet incredibly beautiful birth can be. "Absolutely obsessed. Thank you for sharing & normalizing birth! It is beautiful, empowering, hard, emotional, sweet, challenging & everything in between. And I've always appreciated your willingness to let us in on your experiences—I definitely watched your birth videos while I was pregnant to feel excited & empowered!," one fellow Instagram user comments.

And Duff's husband weighs in with a comment of his own: "My actual superhero," Koma writes. We can certainly see why!