Founder + CEO of healthy mama chats with us about creating safe and effective products for pregnant and nursing mamas.
Motherly @ Work features the stories and insights of modern women growing their careers—and their families.
Rachel Katz Galatt is one of those mamas.
She's mother, wife, and Founder + CEO of healthy mama —which provides safe, high quality, and effective solutions to your pregnancy and nursing needs. From saving you from pregnancy constipation (thank you, Rachel!), to encouraging your milk supply with delicious lactation teas—Rachel and her team are committed to keeping mamas happy and healthy throughout their motherhood journey.
So how does she keep herself and her family happy and healthy? We caught up with Rachel to find out her secrets to a happy and healthy family and thriving business.
Why did you believe you needed to create healthy mama?
Rachel Katz Galatt: While I was pregnant with my first daughter, I suffered from one of the pesky ailments that come along for the ride of pregnancy—constipation. Like most moms, I didn't want to take anything that would be harmful to my growing baby. I called my OB to find out what I could take but she didn't get back to me. I went online and while the internet is an amazing thing, it can be very dangerous for pregnant women. I became confused and frustrated at all the conflicting information about what was and was not safe.
I finally went to the pharmacy to speak with a pharmacist—they would know what I could take, right? Wrong! She sent me and my husband in circles—she advised that there is an antiquated FDA rating system on medicine during pregnancy and it didn't make any sense—she couldn't help us.
We were left to our own devices and walked up and down the pharmacy aisle trying to determine what I could take to alleviate my very uncomfortable (and unfortunate) constipation!
My husband looked at me and said “I can't believe there's not a brand for pregnant women, so she knows what's safe!" I decided to pursue our question, 'Why wasn't there a brand for pregnant women?'
In addition, that night I wound up taking a product that I later learned was deemed not safe to take during pregnancy. I don't directly correlate the two, however, a short time thereafter, I went into preterm labor and delivered my twins at 24 weeks. Mia, my daughter was 1.7 oz and Maxx, my son was 1.10 oz. While we lost our son after 3 days, Mia continued to fight hard for 5 months and came home from the NICU.
It was in the NICU that I became a mama on a mission to help other women avoid the same plight I experienced, and healthy mama was born!
Talk to us about the need you saw in the market—
Rachel Katz Galatt: There was a major void at retail for products specifically for pregnant women so she knew what was safe to take to feel her best.
It was like retailers didn't recognize they didn't exist.
When a person is not pregnant they shop the analgesics or the digestives aisle, then they get pregnant and they have to worry about what they can or cannot take. But after the baby is born, they can go right to the pediatric section to find a safe product for their newborn or toddler. It was a true miss.
What inspires you to do this work?
Rachel Katz Galatt: Both my experience with my pregnancy and speaking with and listening to other pregnant mamas and their concerns and anxieties—we want women to feel confident and provide them convenience and peace of mind during such an amazing time in their life. I am obsessed with providing her safety!
Tell us about your career to this point—how did you get here?
Rachel Katz Galatt: I worked in the beauty industry for most of my adult life and loved helping women feel, look, and smell good. When my husband called out the fact that there was a void in the market for a brand for pregnant women, I was able to take my previous experience speaking with women and leverage that to create a brand that was made by a mom for other moms.
What are your secrets for integrating work and family?
Rachel Katz Galatt: I am blessed to have a very supportive husband who is extremely positive about this mission. He really steps up to the plate to take on 50% (and sometimes more) of the workload. It's hard juggling a family and starting a business and I am truly not sure how I would be successful without that support.
Wow, so between growing your business and your family, we want to know—How do you recharge?
Rachel Katz Galatt: When I get home from work, I focus on my children and family. Once I put my kids to bed, I try to focus on me.
Women tend to be selfless and put all their energy into others. I try to read and let my brain escape from the grind of the day.
I also make sure to set date nights with my husband at least two times per month so we can have alone time in an external atmosphere as well as girls night out—that's a must!
Do you have a mentor or someone you look up to that's helped to shape you as a woman and a mother? Tell us how they inspire you.
Rachel Katz Galatt: I was lucky to work for and with strong women throughout my career who have helped shape me as a business woman.
My mother passed away before I gave birth to my daughters and I often think about how she would handle situations or what she would think of the way I'm raising my kids.
She was not a career woman and she didn't understand my drive to be in the workforce completely. She was a very independent woman though and taught me how important that is in life.
Talk to us about your family and your children—how have they transformed your career?
Rachel Katz Galatt: The reason I started healthy mama was due to my experience during pregnancy with my first daughter Mia.
I fight a good fight every day to make her proud of what we are doing.
I always wanted to be a career woman, but after having children and feeling that bond, I am now a bit envious of women who have decided to stay home and raise their kids. It's a true internal battle for me but I feel like I am showing them a different path and really making a difference on something that's important to me—maternal health and wellness.
What gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you inspired and excited about life?
Rachel Katz Galatt: First my children. I just am in awe every day of how much they learn and grow! They are 4 and 5 years old and it's such an amazing time. Next of course, is making a difference in people's lives. I love hearing women tell me that they are so happy they found healthy mama—our products have been a godsend to them! That's what it's all about for me—making a difference and preventing any woman from taking products that are not safe during pregnancy or nursing.
Tell us about a typical day in your life.
At 6: 30 am. . . I am just getting out of bed (probably yawning!) and getting ready to wake up the kids for school.
At 7:45 am. . . Still yawning, getting the kids clothes and breakfast ready so I can start getting dressed for the day.
At 10:00 am. . . On conference calls or meeting with my team about the priorities for the day.
At 1:00 pm. . . Figuring out what I should have for lunch. I try to never skip a meal but that has become harder and harder.
At 3:00 pm. . . On conference calls.
At 5:00 pm. . .Wrapping up the day. I always try to get home by 6 p.m. so I can spend time with my girls.
At 9:00 pm. . . Sitting down from putting the kids to bed. Organizing for the next day, and then depending on the day, get back on the computer to see if there were any consumer questions, etc.
What's one thing you do every day (or try to do every day!) to ensure that your work and home lives run more smoothly?
Rachel Katz Galatt: Be there in the morning to get my girls ready for school and there in the evening to play with them and put them to bed—to have quality time to discuss their day.
What would you tell other mamas who have a great idea and want to start their own business?
Rachel Katz Galatt: Being an entrepreneur and mother is not for the faint of heart. I don't say that to discourage anyone, but just to be prepared that both jobs are demanding and require 100%. I would tell her to start a business plan and think through the idea, what it would cost to get it off the ground, etc.?
A business plan is a map taking you in the direction you want to head—you need to be realistic about both the market needs and costs of doing business and ask yourself, “can it be profitable?"
Do you need to get investors or is this something that you can float yourself? Being your own boss is one of the best things in the world but it's also one of the toughest. Follow your dreams but be
pragmatic about it.
And lastly, but certainly not least, be passionate about anything you are going to spend so much time with!
What are your big dreams for Healthy Mama?
Rachel Katz Galatt: That we help to create a prenatal category in every pharmacy across the country so safe, effective and healthy products are easily available to pregnant and nursing women.
We are implementing a philanthropic program called “Buy one, Help One" where we will donate a prenatal vitamin to women in need for each prenatal vitamin kits that are purchased from healthy mama.
Every woman deserves the proper nutrition during pregnancy, and many women who don't have insurance can't afford to purchase prenatal vitamins. They wait months before being accepted into Medicaid and can have significant negative impact on her pregnancy like preterm birth, low birth weight, or birth defects.
What do you hope your children learn from your career?
Rachel Katz Galatt: That women can have careers and still be good moms. They can follow their dreams and make the world a better place for it! But family is the priority.
Do tell—what's in your purse?
Rachel Katz Galatt: Ughh...a whole lot of stuff! The most important thing for me is water or Boost it Up! to stay hydrated. I tend to not drink enough and Boost it Up! provides electrolytes which really helps me. Crayons for my kids so I'm never caught without them! And my lip products. Can't live without some color!
We agree! ??
What does 'Motherly' mean to you?
Rachel Katz Galatt: Nurturing, caring, focused—not just on others around her but for herself as well. A“motherly" person is very put together because she is well-rounded. I hope to be considered motherly!