Our Story

Conscious Moms was founded by a mother of 3 who recognized the changes experienced physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally after having a child. And who has witnessed the changes in thoughts and views toward motherhood by society and wishing to change the narrative and restore the beauty of motherhood. At Conscious Moms we’re raising awareness and kindness while promoting initiatives for maternal mental health.  We believe in taking action with urgency in order to raise public awareness about some of the most pressing issues facing moms in today’s society. Please join us by supporting our efforts to make a measurable difference in the lives of moms.

Meet the Team

PRESIDENT
ARTIE VARNADO

Honestly, I never new the technical term for maternal mental health before establishing Conscious Moms. One thing I did know, moms need help, all moms, during their motherhood journey. Everyone may need different things depending on their situation but they all need a village and community of support to improve not only themselves but their family and ultimately community. Also, being a mom of 3 and having friends and colleagues with kids, I hear and see firsthand challenges mom face at home, at work and in the community. And this is why Conscious Moms was established, to not only raise awareness to moms for Maternal Mental Health but to their family and community also. So we hope that we’re able to bring awareness to moms and the community of how to cultivate more kindness and support towards moms!

VICE PRESIDENT
LATONYIA HEWETT

More than ever it has become important to think about maternal mental health. I am so passionate about this topic because I am a mother, and I believe wholeheartedly that the more you invest in your children the better. I also know that you cannot fully invest in your kids if you have poor mental health. All mothers need to have access to mental health when they need it. My mission and the mission of conscious moms will be to ensure that all moms get the help that they need.

SECRETARY/TREASURER
DENISE BROWN

Denise is a mom, grandmother, retired teacher, entrepreneur, and executive director of a nonprofit called Suiting 101. She serves as Conscious Moms’ Secretary and Treasurer. She also helps run the Gingerbread Christmas Tea Campaign as well as our other Conscious Moms initiatives. Her own experience of teaching students and their parents facing challenges helped spark her desire and understanding of the need for awareness and support for moms and families.

OFFICER/BOARD MEMBER
JENSINE SPEED

MSSA, LCSW. I am committed to addressing maternal mental health by normalizing therapy and giving women, who are often forgotten, access to care. While working in the healthcare industry I observed several gaps in behavioral and mental health, particularly with underserved populations. In early 2021, I opened my private mental health practice, Siha (Swahili for good health) to address the issues I was all too familiar with. Siha provides high quality evidence-based perinatal mental health therapy to all moms, emphasizing marginalized individuals and communities (BIPOC, low income, single mothers, limited education, etc.). It is our mission to create a safe and welcoming environment for mothers as they embark upon their healing journey.

OFFICER/BOARD MEMBER
MICHELLE REYES

Michelle Reyes, LCSW, PMH-C Michelle Reyes is a licensed clinical social worker, certified perinatal health clinician, and the owner and clinician at The Maternal Wellness Clinic. Through both personal and professional experience she has gained expertise in treating women during their reproductive process. Her practice focuses on providing individual therapy to those experiencing infertility, miscarriage, loss and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Michelle also offers group therapy for those experiencing infertility through Baton Rouge Perinatal Counseling.

OFFICER/BOARD MEMBER
SHAMIRA ARITA

Shamira is the Owner/Director at For The Love Of Dance Studios, a local non-traditional dance studio. She is a proud Baton Rougean, and lover of all things nature and art. A full-time EBRPSS dance instructor for Baton Rouge FLAIM and Ryan Elementary, Shamira is also the founder of her own 501c3 non-profit. This organization supports different causes through dance, past examples are domestic violence, and breast cancer awareness (in partnership with OLOL Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center). Shamira has an unquenchable desire to give back to the community through the beauty of dance. This has inspired her service as a board member at Theater Baton Rouge, and work with many other nonprofit organizations. Of all the goals she's achieved, (and has left to achieve) her most rewarding life experience is becoming a mom of two. "My heart is in both the community and supporting moms. It truly is it’s own world, and I'm happy to be a part of it! Thrilled to support the growth and love that Conscious Moms will continue to provide."

OFFICER/BOARD MEMBER
LISA JAIN

As a mother and a physical therapist, I am acutely cognizant of the effects of pregnancy and birth on a woman’s body. I am passionate about increasing awareness about resources available to women with respect to their physical health. I am the owner of the first concierge physical therapy practice in Baton Rouge, Kinetic Physical Therapy. We offer both pelvic health and orthopedic therapy in a private and calming office.