In 2016 and 2017, 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, Natasha Enos shares about her experience after receiving one of three CLC training scholarships in 2016.
My name is Natasha Enos. I am 35 years old and a mother of five beautiful children. I have been married to my best friend and we have been married for 20 months now. I am a breastfeeding peer counselor at the Northeast Mississippi Birthing Project, and I am currently in school for my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.
I do this work so that women won’t have to experience what I did trying to breastfeeding my second child. It was a bad experience and I almost gave up on it. It was hard being alone and having to google to find the answers. I want to be the help that is there, no matter what time of day it is.
How did you hear about the scholarship?
I received an email from HealthConnect One regarding a scholarship for participants to get their CLC certification. I was very interested in getting my certification because I want to be better equipped to help my mothers, as well as learn more evidence-based information daily. I must stay updated to provide the best support.
How did you feel when you were awarded the scholarship?
I was so happy when I found out that I was picked for the scholarship. I had told my boss and family about it. It made me feel like the ladies at HealthConnect One believed in me like I believed in myself.
What opportunities has the scholarship provided to you?
It has allowed me to work better with the Lactation Specialist at our hospital. It has allowed me to show my kids that when you are willing to work hard, you can accomplish any goals that you set for yourself. I can now say that I am a certified lactation counselor, not just a breastfeeding peer counselor. I have the title to go with my experience.
Where do you want to go from here?
My next goal is to sit down to take my IBCLC next year, and then to get a job at our local women’s hospital to help all the mothers breastfeed or to explain to them the benefits of breastfeeding and why they should give it a try.
How does your learning affect your community?
It allows me to provide the women in my community with credentials for what I do, to show that it’s something real, not just made up, but something you must train for and have a passion about. This certification allows me to advocate more loudly and stronger than I ever have before about breastfeeding and improving the quality of life for families across the world, and especially in my community.