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Halle Berry: My Baby Boy Is ‘Sucking the Life Out of Me’

05/20/2014 at 10:00 AM ET

He may have been the answer to a prayer. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy for Halle Berry with her 7-month-old son Maceo.

For one thing, the Oscar winner says there’s a marked difference in how her baby boy breastfeeds compared to how her 6-year-old daughter Nahla did when she was an infant.

“When I would put Nahla on the boob, she would go [Berry makes a pucker face and light sucking sound]. A nice little girly suck,” the X-Men: Days of Future Past star says in an appearance Tuesday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “With him, it’s like [she imitates a chomping suck]. He’s like sucking the life out of me! So I see the difference between boys and girls.”

“That was TMI in my opinion, but okay,” DeGeneres jokes.

“I just want everyone to know that I know the difference,” says Berry. “Boys and girls are different from the time they get here. They really, really are.”

Halle Berry Ellen DeGeneres Show Breastfeeding
Michael Rozman/ Warner Bros.


That said, Maceo — whom Berry and husband Olivier Martinez welcomed in October — really was an answer to a prayer. And it turns out that prayer came from Nahla.

“She prayed and prayed for him for like a year and a half, for a baby and a bunk bed, and she got both of those things,” says Berry.

“He’s like one of her dollies that came to life. And all she wants to do is change his clothes. Like she’ll purposely like throw something on his shirt and say, ‘Oh, Mommy, he’s got to change his shirt. He has a mess on him!’ She just likes to change his clothes, change his diapers … She’s a good helper.”

Frankly, Berry herself is surprised she was able to have another child at 47.

“I didn’t think it was possible at my age, honestly,” she says. “They call it a geriatric pregnancy. This is probably way TMI, but I was really, you know, kind of premenopausal, so to have this happen was a huge … Only her prayers could have done this.”

Berry stars in the upcoming CBS sci-fi show Extant as an astronaut who, among other things, has a robot child. Asked at a press event Monday how that experience might be, she told the story of a recent nightmare Nahla had.

“I tap her and say, ‘Honey, what is it? I think you’re having a nightmare,’ ” Berry recalls. “And she never opens her eyes, and she says, ‘Mommy. There’s two cupcakes, a purple one and a pink one, and you’re eating the pink one! And you know I want it! Mommy, no! No!’ “

“And I realized at that moment, she was having a nightmare that was so important to her, but … it was about cupcakes. And I’m not so sure a robot would do that. And that is one of the gems, one of the jewels of what motherhood is really all about.”

– Tim Nudd with additional reporting by Scott Huver

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Showing 50 comments

Susan on

That really is a beautiful story. Very happy for them everyone is healthy!!

Hea on

First and foremost, people are individuals. We’re all different and our very own person. It’s not really typical for boys or typical for girls but rather typical for humans to differ from one another.

Taylor on

Halle, some things should REALLY be kept private.

ctgal on

Great interview – love Halle….and Ellen !

Sandra on

Kids and those prayers! My 9 yr old wants a baby sibling because as he states it, he is tired of being the youngest. I’m two years younger than Halle and it is just not going to happen for me or him, so I compromised and got him a fish.

sarah on

As if praying made it happen. The chances are ridiculously slim. I hate hearing celebrities tell stories like this. Why lie? Why not just say she had a donor egg or IVF. This type of story makes young women feel they too can conceive in their late 40’s and they think it is ok to wait.

Catca on

For goodness sakes Hea, yes people are individuals and they are different from each other as human beings, but there are fundamental differences between boys and girls as well. Trying to make them both the same actually hurts them. Boys and girls learn differently at early ages for starters. There are exceptions to every rule where some boys exhibit girls learning patterns and girls exhibiting learning patterns more similar to boys, but the overarching majority of children follow definite patterns.

Kelly on

That was not TMI. It’s natural and that story was hysterical. Love Halle:)

Tina on

We never get to see what her son looks like.

Bonnie on

I think it is wonderful to hear she is breastfeeding. Good for her!

Dawn on

Happy for them!

Anonymous on

Aw, that’s sweet. I truly love hearing breastfeeding success stories from celebrities. They have an unofficial platform on many things. I love Ellen, but I don’t agree that breastfeeding is “TMI”. She’s sharing her experiences in feeding her two children. It’s not like she was talking about having sex with her husband for goodness sake. 0_o.

Lisa on

What a misleading title…

Lilyflower on

Sarah – how do you know she’s lying? You’re just making assumptions.

aimee on

Those were the exact same experiences nursing my two children. First a girl, a few years later a boy. My son drank veraciously… unlike my daughter who was just a bit more content and laid back while nursing. They are different right from birth!

Cricket on

Hea….hate to burst your bubble but there are fundamental differences in male and female even in the womb. Boys actually develop 2 weeks later than girls in lung function. How do I know? I went into preterm labor. I was 6 weeks early and they would have let me deliver if I knew I was carrying a girl. Because I didn’t know and didn’t want to know until I had the baby, they stopped the labor. The specialist called in explained that boys’ lungs develop 2 weeks after girls do within the womb and the best date for a boy to be born is at his due date or shortly before. They had a case there that day where the mom delivered 3 weeks early and the baby boy’s lungs weren’t strong enough so he had to be flown to our state’s children hospital. With girls, even at 6 weeks preterm, they can do fine. They would have let me go because she was already at 7 pounds but even with that weight, had she been a boy, the lung function wouldn’t have been there. So, yes, we’re different. That’s what’s awesome! God made us that way. Now…all the God haters….go ahead…make your disparaging comments. I’m ok with it because I know who I am in Him! :)
Have a blessed day!!!

Alicia on

Great Story. I didn’t think it was TMI – I thought it was cute and honest. I love that women can give birth in their 40s. We need to stop letting statistics drive our decisions, and let God.

Good Old Granny on

Yep – my first boy was a 12 pounder. That kid could suck start a Harley! When it got to the point where I weighed 15 pounds more full than empty – I decided to stop the breast feeding. Then I had a girl – she was only 9 pounds but the same thing. After a few kids I realized that they are all radically different from one another. I enjoy the differences. They are all awesome! I would not give it up for anything.

bitsy on

Agree with Ellen and Taylor. TMI.

IRM on

That was cute!

Katie on

There are really 3 areas that are TMI: (1) sexual/intimate subjects; (2) toilet functions; and (3) graphic descriptions of surgeries or other medical procedures. Halle Berry feeding her infant son falls into none of those categories. As a matter of biology, human mothers feed their babies from their breasts, but that shouldn’t make it TMI to discuss nursing a child. The primary purpose of breasts is for feeding babies. The fact that we, as a society, have sexualized female breasts shouldn’t make breastfeeding something to be ashamed of or kept secret.

zoom on

If we could all have cupcake dreams instead of dreams that come out of the movie IT

Chicky dee on

Boys will also stay longer on the breast, even as long as 3 -4 years they still want the breast. Go figure.

Canyon on

To Sarah: People CAN conceive naturally in their 40s. My mother had a baby at 42 and that was 52 years ago when it was uncommon. Both she and I menstruated until beyond our 55th birthdays. As long as one has eggs, one can get pregnant, albeit the chances are less and the egg quality diminishes, but it is not, by a long shot, impossible.

Kat on

Sarah – She would not be the first woman to have a fertility surge pre menopause. Many women have children naturally in their 40s, the ‘surprise’ baby. She isn’t lying just because it is not the norm.

Kat on

Katie – I think it was more the sound effects that were the TMI.

Leah on

Halle Berry: what a beautiful, witty, charismatic woman. And Halle, I’d like to have your haircut!! ;-)
Ellen is priceless as well. Wish we could have someone like her in German TV…

Guest on

Too much information. Goodness gracious almighty. Keep it to yourself Halle.

IckIck on

Halle has already sucked the life out of everyone else…. so it only seems fitting her child would do the same…. monkey see monkey do…. Can’t stand this woman!!

Momof4 on

I remember my babies sucking the life out of me. Now they are grown and I miss those days of cuddling babies while nursing them.
I respect Halle for protecting the privacy of her children and not exploiting them by posting their pictures as part of her own publicity campaign like other celebrities.

Penelope on

“Eh” wishes she looked horrible. She looks better than most twenty-somethings walking around the streets these days.

Hea on

Nobody is bursting any bubbles here. I just meant to point out that not all boys eat like Halle’s boy and not all girls eat like Halle’s girl. No matter what Ms Berry thinks.

Mickey on

Sarah, a friend of mine … with no medical intervention, just had a beautiful baby girl at 46 years. Yes, it is unusual at that age. But, it is possible, especially, if the Mom has taken good care of herself. Don’t be all judgemental about Halle.

HLN on

Nancy Grace had twins @ 47.

lula on

Could she BE more stupid? Boys and girls don’t nurse differently; her conclusion is based on a sampling of two. Oh, and then she concludes that prayer brings pregnancies. This too is based on a long-term, peer-reviewed, double blind study. yeah. it’s based on ONE case. EVERY BABY is different from EVERY OTHER BABY. She “wants people to know” that boys and girls are different. I want HER to know that HER children are unique to themselves and if she had another daughter that daughter might be a ferocious nurser. MAN she is stupid, and she doesn’t KNOW she is stupid!

and Ellen thinks that a comment about breastfeeding is “too much information”? Why? It’s a basic biological function, why would it be taboo?

Anonymous on

I have an 8 month old son and he is a non-stop nursing machine! LOL

Summer on

Wow – 47! And here I am worrying that I need to have my second before I turn 35… Of course, she looks like she’s in her 30s – that woman doesn’t age!

Tonia on

Honestly it sounds more like a nursing latch-on issue than a boy-girl thing.

Tonia on

My grandmother had the last of her 7 children at 43, and my aunt had the last of her 9 children at age 49. That was many many years ago before any fertility treatments were available. Not everyone is destined to be infertile after age forty.

anonymous on

Halle seems to have found the fountain of youth — she is absolutely gorgeous and looks nowhere near her age. Funny thing is, she seems to be a minimalist in terms of make up and never goes overboard..

anonymous on

cont’d.. There’s another celeb in Halles’ age bracket looks so plasticky with bleached hair, excessive make up and god knows how many procedures. Less is more!!

Lizzy on

Sarah , your comment are kind of evil . with your lack of faith ,and yes it is possible to get pregnant at that age . , my sister got pregnant at 46 , but we all married to strong french men , and Halle is married to a french man , and not counting that Halle is in great shape , and her actual age my be one but her real body age is another . I dont understand how people live with such much envy and hate in their heart and they hide behind this type of social media to let their hate out for not reason at all , those are the kind of people that end up crazy a go shooting everyone . May the Lord help us and protect us from this dysfunctional and unhappy haters l . change your ways . You should Spread love and rejoice with other people happiness maybe that way you can be happy . and not a sad envious woman . believe . God is watching .

Tabitha on

What great story, Halle looks beautiful and her son sounds like a big eater. I saw a new picture of him on another site and he is just adorable. The Martinez’s are a very blessed family.

Anonymous on

Momof4- For some it’s about publicity, but for most it’s about safety. By releasing a photo on their own terms (whether it be through social media, their website, or a magazine), they ensure that they and their babies won’t be mobbed by paparazzi (which could easily lead to the baby, the celeb parent, or someone else getting hurt. The paps are animals!) for the first photo whenever they go out.

Kat- Exactly! It’s called a change of life baby. :)

Millie on

My mother would always say. When breast feeding baby boys will suck through force of the lungs and baby girls suck through the force of their stomachs. Yes, boys and girls are different!!

Hea on

Lizzy – Since when is it EVIL to not have faith? I’m atheist but I am certainly not an evil person.

Wanda on

My grandmother was born in 1910. She had my uncle in 1958, at age 48. She thought he was a tumor. Lol

Joy on

@Sarah, I’m here to tell you that praying absolutely works and for you to imply the chances are slim are ridiculous. After four natural pregnancies that ended in miscarriages, six unsuccessful fertility treatments, one unsuccessful IVF and being told we would never have a baby naturally, here I sit at 40 with identical triplet one year old daughters. They are absolutely a product of my prayers and the prayers of all of our friends, family, church family and even strangers. Prayer is an extremely powerful thing and with it you can accomplish anything. You don’t know her or her situation. I personally know of two 47 year olds who had babies. One had twins and both conceived naturally. So shame on you for implying she is lying. It’s very rare but it does happen.

jtb on

Oh Halle cut the crap….we know that Nahla is autistic and non verbal. Have anyone ever seen that little girl hold a conversation with anyone? Reason she rarely shows Maceo is because he looks 100% black. Yes he resembles Oliver but shares none of his coloring. Oliver knows she used someone else’s egg. That’s the reason he left her and never have his son.

Marissa on

Wow all the Halle love fests going on..Does anyone even know how toxic and crazy this woman is?
I have seen many women her age that look as good or better. Don’t forget, she has all the money in the world for “procedures.”
Also regarding her pregnancies…She is a type one diabetic and that makes her extremely high risk. Add to that the fact that at age 47, eggs are rarely viable. I’d bet that she didn’t even carry the little guy much like Kelly Preston! And if she did, it was a donor egg.. The talk around Hollywood is that her daughter was an IVF baby and is also autistic..There you have it…
Now get lives all you celebrity worshippers!

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