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Hidden Gems: Meet Rachel Sultzer of Hugs and Snugs Postpartum Care Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Sultzer.

Hi Rachel, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi! Thanks for having me! My name is Rachel and I am a Certified Lactation Counselor, Certified Breastfeeding Educator and Certified Postpartum & Infant Care Doula. I was drawn to the birth world through my love of childcare and family support, starting as a mother’s helper in elementary school. My passion grew as I continued to babysit and work as a camp counselor and nanny throughout college and my career in corporate America. Then I finally settled into being a full-time nanny over 7.5 years ago. Over that time, I have experienced firsthand the lack of breastfeeding education and postpartum support for birthing parent and their partner. It wasn’t until my experience as a volunteer infant-cuddler at UF SHANDS that I started to shift my focus to the birth world and how I could make a meaningful impact. To enhance my knowledge and pursue my enthusiasm for helping parents navigate breastfeeding and postpartum care, I became certified as a Lactation Counselor through the Healthy Children Project and the American Academy of Lactation Policy. I practiced and worked as a Breastfeeding Educator through Commonsense Birth Institute (2017, 2021). Most recently (2022), I received my Postpartum & Infant Care Doula certification through PRODoula. Over the last five (5) years, I have spent my free time working with parents needing lactation and postpartum support while gaining my certifications and nannying full time. I am proud to announce that as of August 1, 2022, I am working as a full-time Postpartum & Infant Care Doula while continuing to teach Breastfeeding 101 and support parents needing breastfeeding counseling.

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I have been very fortunate to work with wonderful families who have supported my journey and have amazing mentors, partners, and friends in the Northeast Florida birth & postpartum care world. Without the support and guidance from our amazing birthing and postpartum community, I would not be where I am today.

However, I think there are always some hurdles along the way to pursuing what matters most, but those hurdles help shape your practice and test your motivation to succeed. COVID-19 was the biggest hurdle, as we all had to learn how to navigate through a terrifying and uncertain time. Although it wasn’t easy, this hurdle only strengthened my desire to support families through their postpartum journey! I was about to become certified as a Postpartum Doula when the world shut down. My role as a nanny changed, and the time I wanted to dedicate to my postpartum family disappeared. After the chaos settled, I found ways to bring lactation and postpartum support back into my world. I did many virtual visits and got used to wearing masks while doing home visits. Overall, I would say my exerience has been a wonderful one and I will forever be thankful for my unique journey into this world.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Hugs and Snugs Postpartum Care Services?
Hugs and Snugs Postpartum Care Services is a safe and supportive space that allows for physical, emotional, and mental recovery for the birthing parent and their family as they all navigate the transition from birth into postpartum.

As a Certified Postpartum & Infant Care Doula, my job is to provide empathetic, non-judgmental, evidence-based care for the birthing parent, the new baby, the birthing partner, and the rest of the family (fur babies included). This can include assisting with the physical and emotional recovery after birth, feeding support (breastfeeding, bottle feeding, combo feeding), light housekeeping and meal prep, evidence-based hands-on newborn education, nursery organization, sibling and partner support, overnight support, and so much more!

As a Certified Lactation Counselor, I visit your home to assess your breastfeeding journey. We spend time chatting about your birth experience and discussing any questions or concerns that you may have regarding your breastfeeding relationship. From that point, I examine the latch, breastfeeding positions you have been utilizing, and anything else that would help to determine a course of action to continue your breastfeeding journey successfully.

As a Certified Breastfeeding Educator, I have been teaching Breastfeeding 101. I love providing the birthing parent and their partner an opportunity to learn about breastfeeding and how to advocate for themselves and their little ones. I am currently offering Breastfeeding 101 in three ways; in-office, privately online via Zoom, and privately in the comfort of your home.

My love for supporting families and my passion for postpartum education have led me to where I am today. I truly believe that everyone deserves the right to pre- and postnatal education and care, allowing them to make the right decisions confidently.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I see the birthing and postpartum care industry booming in the next 5-1o years. I feel like women are starting to take back the birthing process. Women are beginning to advocate for their needs and take hold of their birthing experience. With the resurgence of this birthing experience, we will continue to see a need for more Birthing Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, Lactation Consultants, and Counselors. I am excited to see what the future holds.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Amanda Smith

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