Fulfilling My Dreams: Becoming a Certified Lactation Counselor

Since 2016, HealthConnect One partnered with the Healthy Children Project, Inc. to offer Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) Training Scholarships to Community-Based Doulas and Breastfeeding Peer Counselors who were (1) Trained under the HealthConnect One curriculum and (2) Providing breastfeeding support in their communities. In response to questions from HealthConnect One Program Coordinator Helen Dimas, Thaneshia Newby shares about her experience after receiving one of three CLC training scholarships in 2017.

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Breastfeeding was my first choice when I was pregnant with my first child 15 years ago, and as a mom of three breastfed children, I encourage others to breastfeed daily. Before becoming a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor — and now a Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC) — I encouraged family, friends, and strangers.

I am that person who sees an expectant mom in the grocery store, mall, bus stop — wherever! — and I have politely walked up, asked how she was doing, her due date, etc. and then I would ask if she was considering breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Based on her answers, I would just tell her the benefits of breastfeeding and share my experience as a breastfeeding mom.

I’m happy to say that most of the moms were receptive and smiled, and I would just say, “Have a great day.”

I am that person who sees an expectant mom in the grocery store, mall, bus stop -- wherever! -- and I have politely walked up, asked how she was doing, her due date, etc. and then I would ask if she was considering breastfeeding or… Click To Tweet

The importance of mother’s milk for her baby has been my “mission,” and so becoming a lactation professional was what God had planned for me ☺. It is because of this that I go into the office every day and encourage moms and babies. It is my passion, not my job.

When I was awarded a scholarship for the CLC course, I was excited. I knew I wanted to further my education and become more knowledgeable and proficient. I wanted to make sure I was able to provide my clients with the best and most accurate information, quality care and compassion.

I successfully passed and am proud to say I am now a CLC. This has been one of my greatest accomplishments thus far.

I learned a lot, met some fabulous peers and some, I have bonded with and we talk regularly. Earning my CLC certification has given me a boost of confidence, and enhanced my mission to help promote the importance of breastfeeding and make it the norm. I make sure I continue to serve my clients with that confident energy, so that they feel confident. I want to make sure I have helped ease their minds and get them over any barriers they may have come to me with, by the time our consultation is over.

I love what I do, and I wouldn’t trade this journey as a Lactation Professional for anything! Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity and helping me fulfill one of my dreams: Obtaining my CLC Certification!

Thaneshia Newby is a breastfeeding peer counselor trained by HealthConnect One, a proud mother of three, and a Certified Lactation Consultant.