Dear Diary,

I almost didn’t breastfeed my baby. I contemplated ordering a bottle of formula from the nurses’ station at the hospital. I planned to breastfeed, but my breasts had a mind of their own. My colostrum came in slowly, and I worried if my daughter would starve. Looking back, I know she was perfectly fine and more concerned about sleep than food. But as a first time mom with a crying child in my arms with no one else in the recovery room, I questioned if I could provide enough nourishment for my little girl.

I wanted to nurse for one year, but I couldn’t even get through one night!

Determined to breastfeed, I asked for a hospital grade pump. And after what seemed like an eternity, I squeezed out a teeny tiny tablespoon that the nightshift nurse later forgot to refrigerate.


I cried over spilled, or perhaps spoiled, milk. Then, a pediatrician recommended that I feed my daughter formula. For whatever reason, she didn’t recommend a lactation consultant! So, I pretended not to hear her and drowned out her voice with the humming of the motorized pump.

My milk eventually came down. I received coaching from a lactation consultant that visited right when I needed her, and my daughter mastered a proper latch.

For the next 10 months, I held my baby to my breasts. I never filled freezers with pumped milk and learned to ignore everyone who asked if my daughter received enough to eat. She gained weight, and I gained an unbreakable bond with her as well as several support bras, since my breasts began to deflate. When I underwent a surgery and had to take antibiotics, I stopped nursing. My daughter made a smooth transition to a bottle formula.


At the time, I didn’t realize that I would one day advocate for breastfeeding. I wasn’t afraid of feeding in public, but I wasn’t the mom whipping it out for the world to see until my child was walking and talking either. But when I learned that African-American mothers lagged behind other races when it came to nursing our newborns, I had to do something about it.


Some moms didn’t nurse, because they didn’t have support. Others opted for formula, because they didn’t know enough about breastfeeding or didn’t feel comfortable feeding in public. So I reached out to every African-American mom blogger I knew to ask if they would write about their breastfeeding experiences–good or bad. They wrote about everything from allergies and ignorance to pumping and working. I wanted to curate this collection to educate other African-American women about breastfeeding. That way, they will be armed with information to make a decision.

Hey DFTM Fam–What challenges did you face breastfeeding?


About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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