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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.

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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.

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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!


Bonus from Rachel: Mamas, here's a coupon for a FREE Tame the Flame! at Target courtesy of Rachel and the healthy mama team.

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When it comes to holiday gifts, we know what you really want, mama. A full night's sleep. Privacy in the bathroom. The opportunity to eat your dinner while it's still hot. Time to wash—and dry!—your hair. A complete wardrobe refresh.


While we can't help with everything on your list (we're still trying to figure out how to get some extra zzz's ourselves), here are 14 gift ideas that'll make you look, if not feel, like a whole new woman. Even when you're sleep deprived.

Gap Cable-Knit Turtleneck Sweater

When winter hits, one of our go-to outfits will be this tunic-length sweater and a pair of leggings. Warm and everyday-friendly, we can get behind that.

$69.95

Gap Cigarette Jeans

These high-waisted straight-leg jeans have secret smoothing panels to hide any lumps and bumps (because really, we've all got 'em).

$79.95

Tiny Tags Gold Skinny Bar Necklace

Whether engraved with a child's name or date of birth, this personalized necklace will become your go-to piece of everyday jewelry.

$135.00

Gap Brushed Pointelle Crew

This wear-with-anything soft pink sweater with delicate eyelet details can be dressed up for work or dressed down for weekend time with the family. Versatility for the win!

$79.95

Gap Flannel Pajama Set

For mamas who sleep warm, this PJ set offers the best of both worlds: cozy flannel and comfy shorts. Plus, it comes with a coordinating eye mask for a blissed-out slumber.

$69.95

Spafinder Gift Card

You can't give the gift of relaxation, per say, but you can give a gift certificate for a massage or spa service, and that's close enough!

$50.00

Gap Stripe Long Sleeve Crewneck

This featherweight long-sleeve tee is the perfect layering piece under hoodies, cardigans, and blazers.

$29.95

Gap Chenille Smartphone Gloves

Gone are the days of removing toasty gloves before accessing our touchscreen devices—thank goodness!

$9.95

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

Make multiple trips to the microwave a thing of the past with a app-controlled smart mug that'll keep your coffee or tea at the exact temperature you prefer for up to an hour.

$79.95

Gap Flannel Shirt

Our new favorite flannel boasts an easy-to-wear drapey fit and a flattering curved shirttail hem.

$59.95

Gap Sherpa-Lined Denim Jacket

Stay warm while looking cool in this iconic jean jacket, featuring teddy bear-soft fleece lining and a trendy oversized fit.

$98.00

Gap Crazy Stripe Scarf

Practical and stylish, this cozy scarf adds a pop of color—well, colors—to any winter ensemble.

$39.95

Nixplay Seed Frame

This digital picture frame is perfect for mamas who stay up late scrolling through their phone's photo album to glimpse their kiddos being adorable. By sending them to this smart frame to view throughout the day, you can get a few extra minutes of sleep at night!

$165.00

Gap Crewneck Sweater

Busy mamas will appreciate that this supersoft, super versatile Merino wool sweater is machine washable.

$59.95

This article was sponsored by GAP. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and Mamas.

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There's a lot of discussion about the importance of early education—but what about soft skills like respect and kindness? How can mamas teach children important values like cooperation, gratitude, empathy or politeness?

These values are basic, foundational beliefs that help us know right from wrong, that give balance and meaning to life and that enable us to form community bonds with one another. These soft skills are crucial for kids to learn at any age, and it's important for them to be reinforced, both in the classroom and at home, throughout their childhood.

Here are fundamental ways to build character in your young children:

Kindness

Performing random acts of kindness can have a positive influence on both the individual showing and receiving the kindness. As a family, think of ways that each one of you can show kindness to others. Some ideas may include baking cookies for the mail carrier, donating an unopened toy to a local charity, purchasing canned goods for a homeless shelter or leaving notes and drawings for the neighbors. Include your child in the process so they can see firsthand the joy that kindness can bring to others.

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Responsibility

Children have a strong desire to mimic adult family members. Encourage your child to help complete simple chores in and around the house. Children feel a great sense of accomplishment when they can do their share and feel that sense of responsibility. Two-year-olds will enjoy folding towels, putting books away, putting paper in the recycling box and tending to the garden. Older children may enjoy helping out in the kitchen or with yard work.

Patience

Patience is the ability to demonstrate self-control while waiting for an event to occur. It also refers to the ability to remain calm in the face of frustration. This is a skill which develops in children as they mature. While it is important to practice patience, adults should also be realistic in their expectations, evaluate daily routines and eliminate long periods of wait time from the schedule.

Politeness

Schedule a time when the whole family can sit down together for dinner. Model good manners and encourage older siblings and other members of the family to do the same. Use phrases such as, "Can you please pass the potatoes?" or "Thank you." Be sure to provide your child with guidance, by explaining what to do as opposed to what not to do.

Flexibility

Change your routines at home to encourage children to be flexible in their thinking and to try new things. Try being flexible in the small things: enjoy breakfast for dinner, eat ice cream with a fork, have your child read a bedtime story to you or have a picnic in the living room. Let your child know it is okay to do things in a different way.

Empathy

Children are beginning to understand different emotions and that others have feelings. Throughout their childhood, talk about their feelings and share one's own feeling with them as well. By taking the time to listen to how children are feeling, you will demonstrate to them that you care and reinforce with them that you fully understand how they are feeling.

Cooperation

Coordinate playdates or take your children to events where they can practice introducing themselves to other children, and potentially with adults. Find games and other activities that require turn-taking and sharing.

Gratitude

Encourage your child to spend five minutes every day listing the things they are grateful for. This could be done together just before bedtime or after dinner.

Respect

As parents, our goal is to teach children to recognize that even though people have different likes and dislikes or beliefs and ideas, they must treat each other with manners and positivity. Respect should be shown when sharing, cleaning up, and listening to others. Always teach and model the Golden Rule: treat others the way you would like to be treated. Also remind children that respect can be shown towards things in the classroom. Treating materials and toys correctly shows appreciation for the things we have.
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Medical researchers and providers consider a woman's postpartum period to be up to 12 months after the delivery of baby, but too often, health insurance doesn't see it the same way. Nearly half of the births in the United States are covered by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and while the babies who are born during these births are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP for a year, their mothers often lose their coverage 60 days after delivering their child. There is clear data showing 70% of new moms will have at least one health complication within a year of giving birth.

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This week, members of Congress' Subcommittee on Health met to mark up H.R. 4996, the "Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services (MOMS) Act of 2019, and it was favorably forwarded to the full Committee.

What does this mean? It means that while this bill still has a ways to go before it potentially becomes law, its success would see states get the option to provide 12 months of continuous coverage postpartum coverage to mothers on Medicaid. This would save lives.

As we at Motherly have said many times, it takes a considerable amount of time and energy to heal from birth. A mother may not be healed 60 days out from delivering. She may still require medical care for perinatal mood disorders, breast issues like thrush and mastitis, diabetes, and the consequences of traumatic births, like severe vaginal tearing.

Cutting off Medicaid when her baby is only 2 months old makes mom and baby vulnerable, and the Helping Moms Act could protect families from dire consequences.

The United States has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and according to the CDC, "about 700 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications." This is not okay, and while H.R. 4996 is not yet signed into law this bill could help change this. It could help address the racial disparities that see so many Black mothers and Native American mothers dying from preventable causes in the first year of motherhood.

A report from nine American maternal mortality review committees found that there were three leading causes of death that occurred between 43 days and one year postpartum: cardiomyopathy (32.4%), mental health conditions (16.2%), and embolism (10.8%) and multiple state maternal mortality review committees have recommended extending Medicaid coverage to one year postpartum in order to prevent these deaths.

Basically, making sure that moms have have continuous access to health care the year after a birth means doctors can spot issues with things like depression, heart disease and high blood pressure at regular check-ups and treat these conditions before they become fatal.

The Helping Moms Act is a step forward in the fight for maternal health and it proves that maternal health is truly a bipartisan issue. Republicans and Democrats alike recognize the value in providing support for mothers during the postpartum period.

The Helping MOMS Act was was introduced by Democratic Congresswoman Robin Kelly of Illinois, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. It was co-lead by Texas Republican Michael Burgess (who is also a medical doctor), as well as Georgia Republican Buddy Carter, Washington Republicans Jaime Herrera Beutler and Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Ayanna Pressley from Massachusettes and Lauren Underwood of Illinois (both Democrats).

"Incentivizing postpartum Medicaid expansion is a critical first step in preventing maternal deaths by ensuring new moms can see their doctor. I'm proud that my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, came together to put an end to the sad reality of American moms dying while growing their families," said Kelly. "We can't allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. This is a good, bipartisan first step, but it must be the first of many."

It doesn't matter what your political stripes, reducing America's maternal mortality stats should be a priority.

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Whether you're having a low-key Friendsgiving with your closest friends or prepping to host your first big Thanksgiving dinner with both families, figuring out all of the menu details can be the most overwhelming step. How much should I cook? What ingredients do I need? How does one actually cook a turkey this big?

But, don't worry, mama—HelloFresh is lending a helping hand this year with their Thanksgiving box in collaboration with Jessica Alba. Because you already have enough on your plate (and we're not talking stuffing).


Here are the details. You can choose from two Thanksgiving boxes: Turkey ($152) or beef tenderloin ($132). The turkey box serves 8-10 people while the beef one will serve 4-6 and both are $6.99 to ship. We got to try both and they're equally delicious so you can't go wrong with either one, but the turkey does require a 4-day thaw period so keep that in mind. And if you're wondering what the sides are, here's a sneak peek:

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  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Green bean casserole with crispy onions
  • Ciabatta stuffing with chick sausage and cranberries
  • Cranberry sauce with orange, ginger and cinnamon
  • Apple ginger crisp with cinnamon pecan crumble

While someone still has to do the actual cooking, it's designed to take the stress out of Thanksgiving dinner so you can focus on spending time with your loved ones (or watching Hallmark Christmas movies). You don't have to worry about grocery shopping, portion sizes, recipe curation or forgetting that essential thing you needed to make the meal perfect. Everything is super simple to make from start to finish—it even comes with a cooking timeline.

Orders are open through November 21 and can be delivered anytime through November 24. Even better? You don't need a subscription to order.


ORDER A BOX

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My mother's death propelled me to start the process of becoming a parent as a 43-year-old single woman. As my connection to her remained strong in spirit after her death, I was ready to experience the same bond with my own child. I began the journey with Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), and after three failed attempts at getting pregnant, I decided to adopt.

The adoption process is a lengthy and humbling one—one that includes fingerprints, background checks, references, classes, doing a profile of yourself and your life that birth parents eventually use to choose adoptive families.

After my application was approved, a young couple chose me just a month later. I couldn't believe my fortune. But I had to get to work and prepare the house for my baby's arrival. I bought the best of everything—bassinets, clothes, diapers, car seats… the list goes on. I told close friends and family that it was finally happening.

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But all of this was in vain. The day I was supposed to pick my daughter up, I learned that the birth parents had changed their minds. They no longer wanted to give their daughter up for adoption. As time passed, it was difficult to endure no interest from potential parents but the faith in believing what is meant to be continued. To increase my potential, I enrolled with a second adoption agency.

A few months later, as I was getting ready to try IVF for the first time, I received a phone call to let me know that a woman had selected me to adopt her child. So I opted out of IVF and found myself in a hospital delivery room with the birth mother, assisting her in the delivery of MY child. It was a boy! I was so thrilled, and he was just adorable.

After six years of losses and disappointments, I was able to bring him home and awaited the final word that the mother and father have given the needed consent. I was getting ready to watch the Super Bowl with him dressed in football gear, I got a phone call.

Once again, the adoption agency informed me that the birth mother had changed her mind. That evening, I had to return the baby to his birth mom. I was heartbroken, and my hopes were shattered.

What now? Going back to IVF meant starting from scratch, and that would take a minimum of six months before being able to really start getting pregnant. I was 49 years old, and the clock was ticking. I really wanted to be a mom by the age of 50.

I was in Chicago, recovering from a collapsed lung, when I received yet another phone call from the adoption agency. An expecting mom had chosen me and had already signed over all of her rights. This little girl was mine. For real, this time. But I had to get to Southern New Jersey by Thursday to pick her up from the hospital.

After negotiating with my doctor to give me the green light to leave while recovering from my condition, I hopped on a train, and 22 hours later, I arrived to New York City in a massive snow storm. I took longer than expected to get to her, but after navigating the icy roads of New Jersey, I met my daughter!

She is now 2 years old, and she has changed my life in ways that just can't be fully described. What I can say is that I now understand my mother's love even more and her devotion to me and my siblings, and as I am sharing the same with my daughter, my bond to my mother keeps on growing.

Becoming a mom at 49 was never what I had envisioned. But whether you are trying to conceive or have decided to adopt a child, the road to becoming a parent is rarely easy. I know that inner strength and believing in what was meant to be kept me moving forward.

Life
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