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Hilary Duff: Having A Baby Helped Me Appreciate My Imperfections

PARADE Modified: April 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm •  Published: April 12, 2012
As Hilary Duff revels in new motherhood (she and husband Mike Comrie welcomed their son Luca Cruz into the world on March 20), she remains in awe of the insights brought on by having a child.

"Right when I really started to show, I would look in the mirror and wonder whose body that was! But then about a month later, I just felt really proud that I had a body that could do what it was doing," Duff told "It is incredible what your body can do. You can appreciate all of your imperfections because you have a beautiful baby who came from you and all that you went through."

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When she isn't gazing into her son's adorable face, Duff is trying to help other moms through the Johnson's Baby Cares partnership with Save the Children. The initiative provides "Care Kits" of essential baby products to families affected by natural disasters, helps fund Child Friendly Spaces where moms can recover with their children, and trains health workers in developing countries about ways to prevent asphyxia in newborns through their Helping Babies Breathe program.

"I was shocked by the statistic that 90% of American children are living in areas at risk for natural disasters," Duff says. "Now that I have a child my own, I feel more inspired to help other moms in need."

For more on Duff — like the meaning behind her son's name! — read on below:

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On the most surprising thing about motherhood.
"The list goes on and on. I felt my heart grew the second I met him. You feel so protective right away. You feel loving and nurturing right away. Everybody always talks about it, about how you don't know love until you meet your baby, and you really feel that. There are no words. It was a really wonderful surprise. And there is no way to prepare yourself for the sleep deprivation and what comes with it."

On pressure to get back into shape.
"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. I like working out since it makes me feel more clear-headed and positive. I did pilates and yoga during my pregnancy but I really missed getting my butt kicked. But 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!' There is a little bit of pressure but most of it comes from me.

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