Claire Holt admits that being a mother for the second time is not any easier than the first time around.
In a Q&A session on her Instagram Story last Monday, Holt, who revealed the birth of her daughter Elle on Sept. 13, spoke on what postpartum life has been like during the coronavirus pandemic, including breastfeeding her new baby girl.
“I won’t lie to you. It’s been rough. Bleeding nips aren’t fun for anyone,” said Holt, 32, when asked if breastfeeding was “easier” the second time around. Previously, she had shared her challenging experience with nursing her son James, now 17 months, when he was 1 week old.
In addition, Holt added how she had a lactation consultant come to her home and assist her with getting Elle to latch “properly,” which has “made a huge difference.”
“Going to stick with it, as I know it gets easier and I’m coping mentally,” Holt added.
Holt also revealed how she labored for four hours longer than she did with James — including 19 hours without pain medication — and then she got an epidural, which she “barely felt” as it was “wayyyyy less painful than contractions.”
“It kinda messed up my leg, but at least I didn’t feel the contractions after that,” she shared. “I think it helped me (and my pelvis) to relax so the baby could turn. Leg is fine now FYI.”
Holt explained what it was like giving birth during the coronavirus pandemic and shared her gratitude for her husband as well as doula being able to be present in the delivery room with her.
In addition, she said “it feels like it was” more difficult to give birth the second time, “although I think I blocked out the first one so I’m not really sure. I had back labor both times and took forever to progress.”
Holt has not been shy about her difficult road to motherhood along with the challenges she has had since welcoming James.
“This was me yesterday after struggling through a tough feed,” she wrote alongside an April 2019 photo. “Exhausted, in pain, feeling defeated. I’ve had many moments like this since my son arrived. My only concern is making sure his needs are met, yet I often feel that I’m falling short.”
The actress also shared in a July 2019 episode of Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast how a balloon was used to induce her labor with James, which Holt remembered as nothing short of “torture.”
And when she eventually asked for a walking epidural after initially wanting a non-medicated birth, Holt’s pain quickly subsided even as her contractions grew closer together.
“I was thrilled with my decision,” she noted. “I could still move around, which was great. And I felt like I had the ability to try and progress my labor that way, by rocking and bouncing, but it just took the edge off the pain.”
“Try not to be too attached to a certain outcome (natural birth, etc.),” Holt shared. “No matter how your baby enters the world, the moment you hold them, nothing else is important.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.