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The Nest Lakeland - lactation consultations, breastfeeding support

Meet our Team

Melissa Conord-Morrow, IBCLC, LM, RN - Founder, Director


Melissa has been working with women and families in the Central Florida area since 1995.  She began as a mother reaching out to others, then as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor at WIC and a Perinatal Educator and Doula, before completing her midwifery education at Miami Dade College and earning her license in 2004.  She was a midwife at the birth center formerly known as Labor of Love through 2010 and then started her own practice, Celebrate Birth, ultimately purchasing the birth center in 2013 with her husband, James.


In 2016, Melissa and James founded The Nest with the goal of meeting our community’s needs regarding education and support for growing families.  Then, in 2017 she earned her IBCLC certification (license L-127181).  Melissa has always had a heart for serving her fellow Lakelanders and she hopes you'll find The Nest to be a welcoming place for mothers and their families in the childbearing years.


Stephanie Dawson, IBCLC - Lactation Team Coordinator 

Stephanie is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (L-307776), serving the families of Polk County since 2017 – first as a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, and then earning the IBCLC credential in 2022.


The birth of her first child is what initially brought to her attention the lack of skilled support for breastfeeding families. Two years later,  Stephanie started her journey to become an IBCLC. Over the next five years, she worked with countless families, gaining over 500 hours of clinical experience and 90 hours of lactation-specific education, and then successfully passing her board exam. During this time, she also welcomed two more babies of her own!


Stephanie also has had advanced training in oral functional habilitation to better serve families dealing with suspected or diagnosed tethered oral tissue and other oral dysfunctions.

Whitney Filippone, CBS, IBCLC Student

Whitney became a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist in 2017 and has been on the lactation team at The Nest ever since.  She is currently continuing her education to become an IBCLC.


Karen Cobb, CBE - Office Administrator, Education Coordinator

Karen has been a Childbirth Educator since 2013, certified alongside the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis program.  She started teaching childbirth classes for Celebrate Birth in 2015 and became their Education Coordinator the following year, and then transitioned to the same role at The Nest once it opened,  In addition to managing the class calendar, curriculums, and instructors, Karen also oversees day-to-day operations at the office and helps to keep our organization running smoothly.  She enjoys connecting local families to the resources they need for pregnancy, lactation, and postpartum support. 

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