Brooke Simmons, IBCLC
Hey everyone! My name is Brooke and I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. My husband John and I have 2 daughters: Madison was born in 2003 and Mackenzie was born in 2005. My breastfeeding journey began when I was a young mom. Unfortunately, I received a lot of bad information my first time around. I had no clue what I was doing or where to turn to for help. As a result, Madison was supplemented with formula very early on. We only nursed for around 3 months before she was fully formula fed.
When I got pregnant again, I knew I wanted to breastfeed exclusively. I read up on breastfeeding, had many friends who had successfully breastfed their own children (I am sure they grew tired of my endless questions), and I adopted the “know better, do better” mantra. No one was going to stop me! When my youngest daughter Mackenzie was born, she nursed like a champ right away. We went to La Leche League meetings and didn't have any issues with supply. She weaned on her own at the age of 34 months.
It was sometime during my nursing relationship with Mackenzie that I decided to pursue becoming a lactation consultant. I knew that breastfeeding was my passion and I had a strong urge to help other mothers succeed. I also knew that if I got bad information, others were receiving bad information as well. In 2010, I became a breastfeeding Peer Counselor through WIC. In December 2012, I became a Certified Lactation Counselor. It was during my CLC training that I first heard about the Bachelor's Degree program at Union Institute and University. I knew that I wanted to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and this program seemed like a good fit.
In May of 2013, I was accepted into the Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting Bachelor’s Degree program at UI&U. Within my degree program, I passed my Advanced Lactation Consultant Certificate Exam and Training. Part of the graduation requirements were to obtain 300 internship hours and work directly with an IBCLC. I fulfilled these hours under Pat Lindsey, IBCLC at Sunshine Pediatrics and learned so much in the 8 months I spent with her as my mentor. Pat has over 40 years of experience working with mothers and babies. I thought I had always wanted to work in a hospital setting, but quickly fell in love with private practice.
I graduated in April 2016 with my Bachelor's Degree and was eligible to sit for the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants Exam. In October 2016 I took the exam and waited the excruciating two months to get the results. By December 2016, I received my passing test results and was officially certified as an IBCLC. Right after I sat for my exam, Pat entered into retirement and I was honored to accept a position at Sunshine Pediatrics.
Besides helping mothers to reach their own personal breastfeeding goals, one of my other passions is serving on the board for the local non-profit GetPUMPed! I became the Director of Donor Relations in 2013 and served in that position for 3 years. In 2017, I took the role of Vice President. GetPUMPed is a 501(c)(3) that is dedicated to providing breast milk to babies in Central Florida who, due to extraordinary circumstances, cannot be nursed by their biological mothers. They facilitate the donation of milk from screened donors.
Family means everything to me and I know that what works best for one family may not necessarily work best for all families. Breastfeeding is not a one size fits all. My goal is to help make breastfeeding work best for you and your family. I want to help you reach your own personal breastfeeding goals, whatever they may be, and look forward to meeting you.