Dear Diary,

Breastfeeding is best for babies. There’s an entire campaign selling mothers on it. And now that I’m a mother, I know that we’ll do anything if we believe that it is good for our babies. Still, working is essential for a lot of women. And breastfeeding while working is not without its challenges. It is a noble cause that has some uncomfortable and downright embarrassing consequences. It is best for the babies. It is best for the babies. If we didn’t believe that there is no way that we’d subject ourselves to breastfeeding and working.

Keeping my clothes on at work used to be a prerequisite. Now I voluntarily disrobe in the office several times a day and engage in an activity that is likely illegal in several Islamic countries. I stick my breast into a contraption that sucks them so that milk comes out. I feel like Bessy the cow.

I try to be discreet. I quietly close my office door and try to be as quiet as possible. I pump in my office under the cloak of privacy, but everyone knows what I’m doing. It may be best for the baby, but it feels slightly unseemly. Pump, pump, pump. Drip, drip, drip. I pump and I wait. Once I’m done I secretly leave my office with the milk in containers to place them in the refrigerator that’s in the Lactation Room. I pray that I’m not discovered. But wouldn’t you know yesterday as I used my key to access the Lactation room my boss came down the hall. He exclaimed, “oh that’s what that room is for!” He knew what I was doing and he knew how I had gotten the milk into those containers.


Chaton Turner is a lawyer, public speaker, runner and blogger based in Pittsburgh. The married mother of two also (amazingly) finds time to work as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. You can read how she balances babies and business in high heels by following her journey at Chaton’s World.

About The Author

#Chocolate Milk

Throughout August, in celebration of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Diary of a First Time Mom will publish a new nursing story each day, written by 31+ black mom bloggers. DFTM Creator Heather Hopson asked each blogger to submit a personal breastfeeding story, and they immediately emailed their experiences—both good and bad. They wrote about everything from allergies and ignorance to pumping and working. Heather curated this collection to educate other African-American women about breastfeeding. That way, they will be armed with information to make a decision. Heather hopes you will join the movement on Twitter. Follow @dearmomdiary and the participants. You can check the #ChocolateMilk blogger ambassador list! Be sure to tweet using #ChocolateMilk. And don’t forget to share your story by clicking on Breastfeeding→ Lactation Nation on the menu bar above. Meanwhile, let us know in the comment box below why you nursed—or didn’t.

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