Founder, Vanessa Simmons
Overcoming Fear with Tunnel Vision
After breastfeeding my first two children and not achieving my feeding goal of 1 year, I figured I shouldn't aim too high when it came to baby number 3...especially after the pain on day two! Well, with some awesome postpartum support we were nursing well and I was ready to start helping other mamas to feed their babies too. I believe that this is the circle of life in motherhood:
OBSERVE, LEARN, ALIGN, & ADVOCATE
This was the beginning of a movement and although I was determined to breastfeed, I was also dedicated to documenting families across the country to show the world how normal it was, especially in the black community. So, I took my 17 month old on the road and we breatfed, potty trained, and launched the Normalize Breastfeeding Tour, traveling to 11 states and photographing mothers breastfeeding in public, scenic, and at-home locations...because you have to feed your baby whereever and whenever they're hungry to establish, build, and protect a healthy milk supply.
Normalizing breastfeeding, for me, isn't just a movement, it's a mindset. I didn't let anyone's opinion stop me from walking into my destiny. With the loving support of my husband and three children, I continued chasing my dreams after my nursling was too old to plane hop for free! He continued to breastfed until he was 3. That was my vision of normalizing breasteeding as a black portrait photographer in the US:
getting out there, creating memories that last a lifetime, and building community around the world for this cause.
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So, I am here to tell you, mama,
NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!
I became a profitable portrait photographer working with MIT, UNC at Chapel Hill, and the Philadephia Department of Public Health, but soon learned that I was unfulfilled simply increasing my income, I wanted to increase my impact. I was first given the opportunity to tell my story at the California Breastfeeding Coalition Summit - to become a speaker was my childhood dream. I felt so grateful for the reminder!
SO, I MADE A DECISION TO GET IN POSITION WITH MY VISION!
During the 2020 pandemic, I created an online maternal mindset group coaching program to teach ambitious mothers, who are overwhelmed with the details of chasing their dreams and supporting their family, how to map out their inner-vision so they can joyfully practice self-care, pursue their goals with peace of mind, and confidently walk in alignment with their life's purpose.
As a 2021 trained, Les Brown Power Voice Summit Speaker, I teach moms how to get paid to tell their story and speak their truth. I present my keynote speech to lactation professionals to help them "Liberate Families From the Pressures of Breastfeeding with Social Media." I also provide customized motivational keynotes in thought leadership outside of the industry of lactation.
Finally, I encourage, inspire, and motivate black mothers to BE THE CHANGE to Latch the Gap™ of black health disparities teaching them how to align with the ancient wisdom of nurturing.
DO YOU HAVE A STORY TO TELL?
Something special is hidden deep within you and I'd love to help you reveal it!
MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME AFTER BIRTH
Get the ultimate postpartum checklist for breastfeeding moms
DISCOVER the secrets of mastering your milk supply
LEARN how self-care is the key to feeding your body, mind, and spirit
ALIGN with the ancient wisdom of nurturing to feed your dreams
INSIDE THIS CHECKLIST
common planning mistakes parents make
three words that simplify milk production
how to avoid exhaustion & overwhelm
how to prioritize self-care with a new baby
how to reconnect with your partner
how to keep believing in your dreams while breastfeeding
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vanessa A. Simmons is a first-generation Ghanaian-American photographer, speaker, author, and coach.
As a Lactation Educator and Certified Blactivist, Simmons is speaking at conferences and events to eliminate general miseducation around the topic. Simmons is a public speaker focused on transforming the modern mindset around the natural, yet difficult task of breastfeeding.
Vanessa trains lactation professionals to better understand and connect with millennial families online. She activates her gift of vision through speaking and writing to transform the mindset of perinatal advocates and parents, teaching them to ambitiously pursue their dreams while simultaneously prioritizing joy and rest as they serve their family and community.
Simmons resides with her loving husband and three children in San Diego, CA.
Access the checklist for these FIVE steps
Feed Your Baby
Feed Your Body
Feed Your Mind
Feed Your Spirit
Feed Your Dream