Rachelle Gershkovich is the founder and sleep expert who created the Sleep by Rachelle sleep method. This is her story — including what drove her to become a sleep expert and coach — in her own words.
How it all started
I was 17 when I realized I had a gift for nurturing and soothing infants and getting them to sleep longer than they ever had. My older sister Gina, who was running a nanny business alongside my other sister Melissa, asked if I could step in for her on an overnight stay for a set of twins. That’s right. My first true nannying experience was with a set of twins. It was a sort of baptism by fire. I arrived at the home to find two frazzled parents and a couple of 8-month-old twins experiencing their own meltdown. It took me just a few minutes to calm the twins. The parents were amazed, but everything I did just seemed to come naturally to me. I thought to myself, “Maybe this is my calling.”
When I turned 18 and was attending college, I began working part-time with my sisters as a night nanny. During this time, I recognized that infants can sense anxiety in their caregivers, especially their parents. I learned how to first reset my own internal nervous system to reach a real sense of calm, so I could help the infant do the same. So while other students work their way through college as waitresses and bartenders, I worked as a night nanny. I loved it. I seemed to be born to do it. The most common comment I heard (and continue to hear) from parents was “How did you do that?”
So while other nannies, doulas, and infant care specialists got their experience with their own babies, I’ve gained the vast majority of my insights through my work with other people’s children. This allowed me to develop an approach to infant care that works for every baby — not just a select few, and not just my own.
Certifications and experience
Through nursing courses, I discovered the undeniable value of nutrition and switched my major to Human Nutrition and Dietetics at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Combining my experience with new parents, babies, nannying, and nutrition, I was able to bring a restful night’s sleep to every home. After graduation, I didn’t listen to all the folks who were telling me to go get a job as a dietician and take the safe way out.
Instead, I doubled-down and officially founded Maternal Instincts in 2010.
I have now served thousands of parents (over 5,000, to be specific!) through my sleep groups and as a night nanny, newborn care specialist, doula, and sleep specialist. I have worked with newborns, multiples, and high-risk infants. I have supported families who were dealing with:
- Heart surgery recovery
- Feeding tubes
- …and more
I have extensive knowledge as a pediatric sleep specialist and continue to study and consult with Dr. James McKenna of the University of Notre Dame to stay up-to-date on current newborn and maternal health.
Helping parents for nearly a decade
Today, with nearly a decade of service through Maternal Instincts, my goal is to end sleep deprivation for babies AND parents, and to make parenthood a more restful, harmonious, and loving experience. I offer sleep training and infant care myself, and from my personally trained and certified staff. Myself and my staff stay with families in their homes and, together, we tailor our sleep training approach for each baby and family.
Yes, I get it. Every baby is different and so is yours. That’s why I never implement a set, one-size-fits-all program. I customize each program to the unique circumstances of the parents and their baby.
Though sleep training is the most immediate impact of my work, my ultimate mission is to help parents feel more confident and more connected with their babies. My book, Creating Sweet Dreams© is an easy-to-read guidebook about the rapid development of nutrition and sleep in the first year of a baby’s life. In it, I highlight my gentle sleep training method, called Sleep by Rachelle©. By noticing and supporting their young infant’s signs of developmental readiness, a parent will learn how to work with their child’s unique metabolism and sleep cycles, which will lead to better sleep through the night.
I understand that, as a new parent, you may feel that you or your partner are being dismissed or not being listened to. Everyone has an opinion about your baby’s sleep — but yours doesn’t matter. I promise to LISTEN to you and your baby.
Set up a free 15-minute consultation now and let me help you (and your partner) get your life back.
A little extra about Rachelle
I reside with my husband and four active children just outside of Denver, Colorado. I am extremely grateful for an amazing team of providers, and for the ongoing support of my loved ones. This includes my sisters who, without their passion for helping new parents, Maternal Instincts by Rachelle and Sleep by Rachelle wouldn’t have happened.