Why Eva Amurri Martino Stayed in Bed for a Week After Giving Birth

09/12/2014 at 05:00 PM ET

Eva Amurri Martino breastfeeding daughter Marlowe Regine Mahaux/Getty

She may have doubted herself a few times during her “marathon” 36-hour delivery, but after welcoming daughter Marlowe Mae, it’s been smooth sailing for Eva Amurri Martino — at least in the nursing department.

“I was really lucky. She latched right away and she’s a voracious eater,” Martino, 29, tells PEOPLE.

She’s such a good eater that Mom actually needs to step in from time to time. “It can actually be a challenge because she eats a little too fast and I have to slow her down.”

But while the actress says her little lady is a natural, she’s honest about the inevitable early challenges of breastfeeding.

“I don’t care what people say and no matter what, it hurts,” she admits. “It’s not comfortable. It has been teaching me to really be much more gentle with myself and I just have to expect that each day is a new day and it takes a while to get used to.”

And while she’s back on her feet and “feeling good” one month postpartum, the struggle of those first days is still fresh in her mind.

“The first week was really intense,” she recalls. “I was not expecting how hard it was.”

At the urging of her midwife, Martino was focused on recovery for that first week and a half. “I didn’t leave my bedroom, let alone go downstairs,” she explains.

“My mom [Susan Sarandon] would bring stuff up for me to eat and I really just stayed in bed with Marlowe nursing.”

For exclusive photos and more on Eva’s emotional home birth, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

— Jennifer Garcia

Want more stories like this?

Sign up for our newsletter and other special offers:

sign me up

Thank you for signing up!

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 70 comments

Sarah on

My midwife encouraged me to do the same thing and I ignored her advice at the desire to prove I was capable of birthing and getting back to normal life. The result was a bad breastfeeding start and me admitted to the Hospital after my body crashed.

Good for her doing the bed rest and tending herself and baby. I will definitely be doing the same this next birth.

blessedwithboys on

If it hurts more than just the beginning, the latch needs to be checked. Eva, you can do it! I was just 17 when my son was born and I nursed for two years and never used a bottle. Please call a LC out to your home if you haven’t already. Best wishes!

A mama on

So nice to hear someone who doesn’t just jump back into life. 10 days of just home mainly in bed, necessary. Congrats to the Martino’s.

Marky on

When I had my last baby, my doctor told me he wanted me to just lay around in the recliner and nurse my baby, not doing anything else other than read to my older children, or cuddle them. He said if I let everyone wait on me for 2 weeks, I could do what I wanted after that, and start my regular exercise program at 3 weeks, and I would feel just fine. He was so right! I stuck to his plan, and I felt great at the end of 2 weeks, the baby was fairly settled in her BF routine, and I was able to take care of the other children without everything being crazy. I didn’t have PPD, which I had had the previous time, likely because I was mopping the floor and doing laundry when the baby was 5 days old. It was absolutely great to have my MIL there telling me how fabulous I was, how special I was, and fixing me my favorite foods, treating me like a queen for those 2 weeks. After that, I was ready to do what needed to be done, though I was sensible about it. When I talk to other new moms, I tell them to take 2 weeks just hanging out in the recliner, with the baby, and get the nursing down, and just read to the older children if there are any, and allow yourself to be waited on. If no one offers, then pick your mom, your MIL, and aunt, or ask your spouse to take 2 weeks off and help with his new family, but don’t just dive back in and ignore that special time with the new baby and your own body. So worth it! Good on Eva for taking care of herself!!

Valerie on

My first baby, I did the same thing. With the second, my body was used to the feeling and knew that I had to take care of two now, so I was up and going two days later. It is amazing how our bodies work! Congrats! Love her name!

Sara on

Have the baby checked for a lip and/or tongue tie. That’s what caused my nursing to be so painful but no one – not even three lactation consultants- even looked for it. After three painful months, I had to quit and now I know she has a lip tie.

Claire on

My breastfeeding experience was a nightmare because my nurses insisted that it wasn’t supposed to hurt. I felt like such a failure for not being able to do such a natural thing. I assumed that I was doing it wrong because it was excruciating pain for me. I tried pumping and that also hurt. Combined with barely getting an ounce after an hour of pumping, I gave up. My son was fed formula from then on. I don’t feel like there’s a wrong way to feed your baby. But I’m glad to hear someone verify that it’s painful (or can be). If I’m able to have another child, I will definitely try breastfeeding again. It saves money and I really wanted that bonding time. I feel better knowing that it’s fairly common to feel pain with nursing. I would have been more willing to suffer through it had I known it was going to get better.

Bernadette on

This is interesting. I had a C-Section and was being told to expect a much harder recovery than a vaginal birth. I was certainly not feeling 100% but was on my feet by day 3 and going about my business by day 4. Natural births must wipe you out! She’s very brave.

Pam on

Breastfeeding was excrutiatingly painful for me in the first few weeks. So when I talked to my Dr. she said it wasn’t supposed to hurt so bad. She gave me a prescription for yeast in my breasts. I started putting the cream on and within a week they felt much better. I’ve been breastfeeding ever since, for 10 months now. 😃 I also didn’t leave my bed for the first few weeks. It really does wipe you out!

Gail on

Great to hear she is dong well with her first child, no any difficulty. Congrats to her and love the name!

Kimberly on

A mother who gives birth by c-section is encouraged to walk around to avoid blood clots…I would much rather be up and around then laying in bed all day. As long as you don’t climb many steps or do any heavy lifting you are fine. Why is this even an article. The baby is cute and all but some celebrities act like they invented pregnancy and being a mom…women have been birthing babies for eons….we know how it goes. Of course though Eva can lay in bed, not really an option for us every day folks who have other children to look after!

bb on

I, too, am glad she is taking her time and doing what works for her! That’s all any of us can really do. I’m assuming her husband is around helping out, though the article and picture only feature Susan Sarandon. Regardless, I’m glad she has a support system to lean on, especially for the first few weeks.

susan on

Marlowe is making up for all the years that mom and grandmom didn’t eat.

Anonymous on

Headline: why?

Answer: because she is rich and has the time, money, and help.

Couldn’t bring myself to read the article. I was alone in a new city with a traveling husband!

Brigitte on

I don’t understand the negative comments. I stayed in bed for a week after my daughters birth. My Mom took care of everything and I concentrated on the baby and myself. It was a very special time.

bettie on

As she should. So good to hear. My midwife used to say: 1st week in the bed, 2nd week around the bed and 3rd week again and again into bed. Very good advice! Although it stretches the patience, I know.

Pisa771 on

I don’t understand the negativity regarding her being able to take care of herself by staying in bed for a week. We are all dealt different hands in life. She said it was so she could help herself heal and also to concentrate on feeding her new baby. She is able to do that because of her lifestyle. But there’s nothing wrong with that. I wasn’t able to do that with either of my children but I don’t feel the need to bash her for wing able to do it. It’s nice to see a celebrity taking care of herself and making sure to tell people that she didn’t bounce back right away. And breastfeeding DOES hurt for the first week or two even if there is not a bad latch. So, thank goodness she is spreading the word!

Erin on

Right on Priscilla. Actually I don’t know who this person is other than Susan Sarandon’s daughter. Get over it PEOPLE. She had a kid, life goes on – nothing new here. SHe’s not the first to give birth and won’t be the last.

aeromel78 on

I found it sort of sad to raad the number of comments by people saying it “must be nice” to have the “luxury” of taking a week to recover after a baby is born and that it’s only possible if you’re famous. She was able to do it because she had a supportive family. I’m from a working-class family and we do the same. When a new baby arrives, family is constantly in and out of the house. They cook, they clean, they look after Dad and any older siblings. Close family friends often come over to help as well. I’m not old either, I’m only 36, so it’s not like this is an antiquated notion. It’s kind of a bummer that it seems like such a foreign concept to so many of you.

Jenice on

I stayed in bed for a week as well and my husband took care of everything. So sick and tired of all the mommy competition on here!!!

Ebony on

We are kind of force-fed a lot of news on Eva. I don’t really get it.

Pinky on

I could not do that. I will admit after my first emergency c-section I did too much and wore my self out. After my second now necessary c-section I took it more easy but wanted to be up and about as soon as possible, for me I just feel better and more in control of myself and feel like it helps my body to heal faster if I can walk stretch, get fresh air etc. I hate being a patient I suppose.

jp on

Give me a break. I had a c-section, allergic reactions to antibiotics, was rushed back to the hospital less than a week after delivery and I did not spend a week in bed. I was dizzy and still trying to cope. Woman are a lot stronger than this pampered princess.

Pinky on

My two cents about breastfeeding. With my first I was so stressed and I was at a hospital that kept demanding if she did not latch soon I had to use formula. Even had a nurse shame me when I asked for a sandwich that my baby was hungry like me too. Awful experience. Pumping never worked and I sorta 50/50 nursed and formula for three months and then it was only formula. With my second I switched hospitals and Doctors. No pressure from anyone this time. Gave the baby her time to nurse. It stopped hurting when I said no more trying to pump. We have now exclusively nursed for a year. It is a lot of work and not for everyone. I just want any other mamas out there who had an experience like I did with my first, it can get easier.

abbey on

Surprised she didn’t hire a “wet nurse”. Why do the pampered rich think they are the only ones who did something spectacular when they give birth?

Kat on

The competition is sad. If you didn’t have a lot of bed rest, and bounced right back, good for you. She decided to go a different route. Every women should have the right to spend their first weeks with their child as they see fit. A happy healthy baby starts with a happy healthy mom, so good for her that she got to do what worked for her.

And after a 36 hour labor, you have a lot to bank back up. Mine was 29 hours, so I can only imagine!

Deezy92 on

I do not understand the negative comments. I love that she admitted it was a tough start! I have a big family and some of mine were very hard. I know PLENTY of normal income women who stayed in bed for a week, because their moms came to help. Staying in bed and easing into life following childbirth does not equate privileged, spoiled or “Hollywood”. I stayed in bed for nearly three weeks following my last child’s birth. Negative feelings about that? Go ahead. Just know that my husband lost his job while I was pregnant so he was unemployed.

Ladies, stop hating. It’s ugly.

dawn on

O come on a week in bed nursing. I birthed to kids breast feed them and yeah the first day i loved staying in bed holding them loving them. But then i had to get out of bed and stop being a little princess and go take care of my home and husband.

kate on

I am glad that your Mom showed up and help. Iam glad that you are taking time, you have to.

Mary on

Kudos that she had the time and support from her family to allow her to stay in bed, if that is what she wanted. I believe that it is your choice as a mother to decide what is best for you. Personally, I would have gone a little crazy being in bed for a week. My twins were born almost 9 weeks early and nothing could have kept me in bed from getting back to the hospital every day to be with them until they could go home!

Keith on

Is isn’t a CONTEST ladies…

Well I did X, and Y & I had a c section & I did….yeah whatever.

Women used to stay in the hospital for a week in the not too distant past – the midwife gave great advise. There’s no reason to rush back into it all after giving birth. It’s hard work, rest is good.

Jen on

Sometimes it’s the latch. My first one didn’t have enough nipple in his mouth, just pulled on the end. That hurts. Once I figured out to put more in his mouth, all good. I also learned when people offer help, TAKE IT!

LK on

Not everyone has the luxury of having help and staying in bed for a week. Real people have to work

nany on

Oh Brother! Excruciating? Breastfeeding? That is what they are for. You must have had a pretty easy life to think nursing is “excruciating”. Open leg fracture, that’s excruciating pain. Nursing is a baby sucking then possible chomping on your boob. Uncomfortable at best.

Blankita on

That’s the way to do it!!! It’s such a precious time to be cherished and enjoyed.. I was lucky to have my mom with me as well, I just breastfed my son and the rest was taken care off;) it takes a village as they say! Didn’t have the same luxury with my second but then again breastfeeding was a breeze the second time around and I was on such a high from a fast natural birth that u felt like a superwoman lol

Margarita on

Thank you for sharing this Eva. I can’t stand stories of celebrities being at the gym just weeks after giving birth. They shed an unhealthy light to recovery after birth. Ladies put their bodies through trauma and they need all the time it takes to recover wether it is physically or mentally. That is also precious time to bond with you newborn.

Mar on

Why are people so upset that she stayed in bed for a week? when my sister had all 3 kids, her MIL, our mother, and myself were there everyday helping out with the kids so she could rest. How can she take care of the baby if she isn’t well herself. Some of you women need to grow up and start acting like adults.

amyinaoaktown on

Why push yourself…body needs time to heal after such a strenuous delivery…good for her to just listen to what her body needs.

Cate on

I was in labor for 24 hours with my first, and had been induced, so because of the timing I wasn’t able to eat for over 36 hours, and didn’t sleep for also 36 hours. It was an incredibly difficult labor, and we didn’t sleep much in the hospital either. So by the time I got home, I did what she did – my mom stayed with us for a while, cooking and taking care of us – and I stayed in bed with my baby, getting the hang of nursing. With the second child, I was out of bed in a day, and also had a toddler to take care of as well as a newborn, so things returned to normal much quicker. That first baby rocked my world, though!

Seriously on

Props to her to being honest about her experience. One of the biggest misconceptions about becoming a parent, especially at first, is that it’s a cakewalk. Then if you don’t feel that way, you feel like a failure. Nobody really tells you how hard it can be. Good for her for taking care of herself initially too. I remember trying to do too much at first and I just wore myself out. On the other hand, some women have no choice but to jump back into their normal lives (other kids, no support at home, etc), so she is a blessed woman to have that option and hopefully she knows it. Beautiful family.

Guest on

LK, if you have to go back to work one week after having a baby, you probably shouldn’t have had said baby. My friends did this and neither is rich or pampered – they just had families who were supportive and wanted them to get their strength back. One of them is of Chinese descent and they have a tradition called confinement, where the mother doesn’t leave the house for a MONTH. Look it up. It’s not about being a princess, its about letting your body get its strength back.

Katie on

Hilarious. Sounds like a spoiled aristocrat who hasn’t had to do much for herself. Remember, there are still women giving birth in rice paddies. No wonder the rest of the world is beginning to think we’re obnoxious here in the US. The next story will be about her postpartum depression or something. Somebody must need some publicity.

SarahJane77 on

For those of you who said “it must be nice to stay in bed for a week, but some of us have to work,” did you go back to work the day after you had a baby? If so, look into changing Drs. I have a friend who was desperate to go back to work (single mom) she had no complications, and her Dr wouldn’t clear her for 4 weeks, and that’s early! Most Drs don’t clear you to return to work for 6 weeks…8 if you had a csection. Shoot, I wasn’t even out if the hospital with my last baby for 4 days!

And those who have to “take care” of their husbands, aren’t they grown men? I do a lot for my husband, but he would never expect me to resume my normal household duties right away. I’m 3 months post partum and just getting back into the swing of daily life.

Enough please on

I wonder if her mom’s 30 yr old boyfriend helped out at all ?

Please People, stop trying to make this girl happen. It’s clearly not. Her husband wasn’t even that big an MLS it national/international player. Yawn x100

Those women ARE blessed with massive boobs; they’re so lucky.

JustSayin' on

It’s nice that she was able to stay in bed for a week’s time with the help of her mom. When my son was born by C-section, I had a 3 year old daughter, who by the way was born vaginally. The C-section was much worse. My insurance would pay for me to stay in the hospital a second day, so I did, because by day 3 my husband had to go back to work and I knew I’d be on my own. So I was left with a 3 year old and a brand new baby to care for. There was no laying around. You do what you need to do. All is well. My kids are 19 and 22 now. Good luck to the new mother and her baby.

ImALadyToo on

That’s the way they did it back in the 60s and even 70s (and earlier, I’m sure). They kept you in the hospital about a week so that your body could recover. It is a major event that your body goes through. Maybe you don’t need to be in the hospital that whole time, especially with health care costs going through the roof, but bed rest at home should be a given, if you can get someone to help you. Best wishes.

MV on

I don’t know about any one you, but I had at least…9 months to prepare for my babies. If you or your partner did not plan financially for your baby so that you couldn’t take at least a week off to recover and bond with your new born, then that’s your issue. Most jobs offer maternity and paternity leave, so stop with the pity parties. You don’t need to be rich or famous to plan and prepare for a birth. Everyone has plenty of time to save money or accumulate days at work to take off when the time comes. Some of these comments are beyond ridiculous.

Oh, and I had a condition called D-Mer which made breastfeeding excruciating and impossible for me. I don’t consider myself a pampered princess but you better believe I had all hands on deck helping me out when I was trying to nurse. There is nothing wrong with being pampered after your body creates, carries and delivers a new life and goes through childbirth, regardless of who you are.

Mandy on

Wow, seems like there are a lot of jealous woman on here. I also did not get to stay in bed for a week, but I had been on bed rest since 32 weeks so once I had the baby I was ready to be up, even if it was painful. If I had a mom who would have helped, I probably would have taken things easier myself, but my mom isn’t someone to depend on. Congrats to her on a healthy baby.

Anonymous on

I should have stayed in bed longer than I did. I look back at pictures where I look pretty grey. It takes time to bounce back, even with a complication free delivery. I never felt pain while nursing, and nursed 3 children a year a pop. I think she should make and appointment with a lactation consultant about that latch.

Guest on

How is this news??? What a waste of time and news space…smh…

Kelly on

Childbirth isn’t a competition you morons.

Stop saying ‘I had it worse than you’.

Katrina on

Good lord, there are a lot of sour grapes on here. This is nothing new people, women have been home and having babies and staying in bed for a week for more for a very long time. My grandmother did it.. I am far from a pampered princess, have 5 kids of my own and did it with them all. Its called a support system. Yeah, i didn’t stay in bed as long as each one came along as i wanted to spend time with the others as well, but its not just for rich people. I exclusively breastfed 4 of my 5.. because i was not aware there was going to be pain and was not able to feed my oldest. I did not produce enough milk for him, the others i could. Each person is different, but should be able to choose what is best for them without any bashing. Geez people, this is not a competition, who has the best or worst birth experience. Women i have found, are the most intolerant of any other views and quick to bash others for their choices if its not what they would choose. Why not just either agree or disagree and move on? As for the comments about taking care of husbands and kids.. i can see taking care of your kids, but why the H@## cant your husband take care of you after giving birth? Or at the very least, he is a grown adult and be able to take care of himself?

arijana birston on

people were telling me to just lay on the couch and relax but i was so impatient i was up and walking right after giving birth. i was doing dishes but my hubby felt bad and he started cleaning for me. good for her for relaxing but it’s very hard to just sit still

Marky on

When I had my first baby, my mother dropped everything and came to help me from day 1. I felt great, even though labor was 43 hours, and delivery was no picnic. I was up and at ’em when she was 5 days old, and even mopped the kitchen floor! My mother was in tears begging me to sit down, and I was saying, “It’s fine, I’m fine, everything is fine!”. She stuck around and did what she could, but it was me against the world, looking like I’d never been pregnant at 3 weeks pp, and doing everything because, “I’m fine…I just had a baby, not major surgery!”. By 6 wks pp, I had PPD and struggled like crazy to get past it, and while I took good care of my baby, I didn’t really ENJOY her. Fast forward a couple of years, and baby #2 was due in a month or so. My doctor sat me down and said, “Having a baby is normal and natural, not an illness, BUT it’s a big deal and a big job for your body. You get help from your mom, your MIL, your friends, or whoever, and I want you to sit and hold your baby, nurse your baby, read to your daughter, and just relax, for 2 weeks. I don’t want you to prepare a meal, sweep a floor, or any other thing that can be thought of as housework. Wearing yourself out last time is likely a contributing factor to the PPD, and makes having a baby less than it ought to be.” My MIL came (mom was having surgery so she couldn’t), and pampered me like a princess for 2 weeks, and I just devoted myself to my baby and my toddler. After 2 weeks, nursing was nicely established, I was ready to do whatever needed to be done, and what I wasn’t up to, my husband did when he got home from work. I had NO PPD, and I thrived with every facet of life. When my daughters gave birth, I gave them the same gift of taking care of their house, doing their laundry, fixing their food, and making certain they knew I thought they were amazing for having accomplished such a wonderful thing as having their babies. Frankly, I would have done the same if they had adopted, because new moms need time with their babies, and they need to hear they aren’t screwing up everything. No one has to be rich to have that time, and Eva isn’t, to my knowledge. A husband that expects you to jump up the next day, and get busy cooking and cleaning is a twit that needs his eyes opened. My father needed his job as much as anyone ever did, but if my mother was sick or when she had her babies, he either switched days with someone else, or took leave days. I never saw him act as if he couldn’t wash a load of clothes, fix a meal for himself and his family if needed, or even mop the floor. I wouldn’t have settled for less for myself. This envy of people who may have more money than you do is pathetic, and frankly, a load of stuff that belongs in a cat’s sandbox!

Sandra on

Your body your baby, do what works for you and it will turn out fine.

jenniferyterry on

Good advice, I’ll have to file that away.

Aussie cathie on

Great if you can do it

auds on

labor and delivery exhausts a mother.you feel lousy afterwards.you ached all over.sutures hurt.episiotomy painful to walk,use BR etc. staying in bed all the time not good for circulation.Breasts hurt.babies cry.Milk not there for 3 dys.complications can set in.by the time the 2nd or 3rd one arrives,the other two need attention.sometimes mom is the only one there.Luckily Inlaws and friends can help–maybe.No one should begrudge a new mom help whether they can afford to hire or not.good for Kate.hope she maintains a good pregnancy and safe delivery.they ARE a cool couple.

Chiluvr1228 on

Used to be, not that long ago, women stayed in the hospital 5-7 days after giving birth. Now we are expected to give birth, go home the next day and return to work in 6 weeks.

I wish I had family that allowed me to stay in bed for the first week. My oldest was so colicky that nobody would watch him for more than an hour.

Ginger on

It is very hard to stay in bed for a week If you don’t have help. You have to get up to do things unless someone can do things for you. Therefore many can not stay in bed for long time.

Kestrel on

I had an 11 pounder who ate like a champ. I loved nursing! It didn’t hurt, we worked out just fine – and I know I’m lucky. I was also able to stay in bed while I had a husband at home to run things and take care of our 4 year old. I think those first days (weeks!) should be a time of rest and calmness. Meet your new little person and enjoy them. When I hear about women who have to go right back to work it makes me sad. Our society worships the worker but not the mother. And there’s no pill that’s speeds up bonding with a newborn!

Budding Fashionista on

how many new moms do you know who are really up and about that much immediately after childbirth (for it to be the reason for the article’s title)? Aside from the beauty of having a child, the physical recovery is really uncomfortable and frankly, pretty gross! No one ever had to tell me to stay home/off my feet at the time.

candyclan5 on

I am going to sound like an echo when I say I don’t understand the negativity coming from so many either! Taking care of yourself after child birth sounds like good sense…whether you are rich or not! I mean, she just MADE A HUMAN!!! For all the snarks that have derided Eva, thinking this is a pampered, rich way to be; I’m married to a Police Officer (read: we are not rich) and he, with my Mom, took over the first two weeks of nights so I could get my strength back…3 times!!!

Guest on

What a refreshing story, and good example for all women to savor the moment and take care of your mind and body. I appreciate her honesty and ability to enjoy this time with her baby and not obsess about losing her baby weight.. She is tending to the things that matter in life. Beautiful family.

Anonmyous on

Nice if you can afford the luxury to stay in bed for a week, but most women can’t afford that because so much things going on and need to do.

Kat on

Judging by some of these comments, many women have little to no family support after childbirth and that’s sad.

Gail on

Nice advice. Congrats to her.

Anonymous on

Good if you can afford to do it.

NV on

Congrats to them for the new addition!

lola on

Wow, take it easy on her. It’s not a competition ladies and I use that term loosely. Eva is only communicating what she did and it was her Dr who advised this. If you didn’t do this…fine, but this story is not your story it is hers. Thank you to the real woman on here who are supportive!! You are what makes being a woman beautiful and strong. Those of you who came here only to tear apart another woman, shame on you!! Acting worse than children.