Blog

What to Feed Your Toddler Next: 5 Easy, Healthy Recipes

When my daughter entered the finger food stage, I was elated. We could all sit down together to eat as a family. I didn’t have to airplane homemade baby food purees into her mouth between each bite I took.

As a writer, I sometimes get asked to do fun things like write a guest post for an important site like Kindred Bravely, or read one of my stories to kids in the hospital via a virtual story time. This makes my day.

The Coys

If you have a toddler at home, check out this guest post –

5 Easy Finger Food Recipes for Babies and Toddlers

When my daughter entered the finger food stage, I was elated. We could all sit down together to eat as a family. I didn’t have to airplane homemade baby food purees into her mouth between each bite I took. We could even eat some of the same foods. It was messy, but it was exciting.

It would have been easy to just let her live on the snack foods she immediately liked. But I wanted to make sure she was also eating real, nutrient-rich foods that helped her grow. And truth be told, I didn’t want her to grow up like me – a kid who exclusively craves Pop-Tarts and whipped cream and doesn’t eat vegetables until college (only a slight exaggeration).

Continue reading…

The Coys

Parents, How Are Your Emotions Handling this Crisis?

Parents – If you’re emotions are vacillating from day to day (or moment to moment), I encourage you to print these words and hang them somewhere your family can reflect on them daily.

How are your emotions handling this crisis? That’s a loaded question, isn’t it?!

I’ve thought about it the last few days, and as a parent of two little ones, here’s where I stand…

Obviously, I want this to pass. I want our nations health and economy to be in a better place, I want to move on to making plans and looking forward to the future, I want to wear fewer hats in a single day, and I want to have people over.

On the other hand, I know as soon as all this is over, I’m going to deeply miss it. Specifically, the extra family time, a mostly unhurried pace, and being pushed to try new things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

Even in knowing that I’ll miss it, I often get frustrated right now.

My husband and I work full-time and have two young kids in the house – two and four. The house is loud and messy. My husband and I manage work and parenting in two hour blocks, always feeling one step behind in each. All of our plans that we were looking forward to for months are slowly being cancelled. And my four year old reminds me daily that she just wants to play at the park and hug her friends.

I know sweetie. Me too.

And thus, my grumpiness creeps in. This crisis highlights some not-so-pretty traits about myself that I don’t have to face often when life is “normal.”

And my feelings are real and valid, but it doesn’t serve me, or my family, to spend too much time hanging out with my negative attitude.

If we let ourselves think something for too long, it becomes our reality.

So I decided that my brain was in need of a new, more positive, default message. One I could read every day, like a mantra or prayer, to start my emotional responses from a better, more serving, space.

I can’t always control circumstances, but I am in charge of my reactions. If I fill my heart and mind with good, good is more likely to pour out when I’m pressed in uncomfortable situations. So I wrote down the positive thoughts I want to start my day with, and hung them in my home.

If you’re emotions are vacillating from day to day (or moment to moment), I encourage you to print these words and hang them somewhere your family can reflect on them daily.

Choosing This Moment - Quarentine Mantra or Prayer by JK Coy

Here is the 8×10 .pdf: Choosing This Moment – Quarantine Mantra or Prayer by JK Coy

If you’re a parent of young kids and need some reading material, check out these titles.

7c2f0ad5-afe2-4d52-892f-0ffe14f9ca55

From Concept to Published, a Princess Story

Back in October I posted thirty writing prompts for the month of November.

The first story is already published!

Back in October I posted thirty writing prompts for the month of November.

I can’t believe how that one thing has helped propel me this year. Every day I showed up and wrote something new. Now I’m using those stories to help me determine what to release this year.

The first story is already published!

Princess Winnabelle and the Missing Jewels released last week.

Cover_final

Amazon Book Description:

Perfect for little princesses that believe a hero can be fierce, fun, and fancy!

All is well in the magical Land of Five Lagunas…until a stubborn little mouse moves in.

In this modern fairy tale, the sweet and spunky Princess Winnabelle doesn’t have time to worry if her fancy dress gets dirty. She is busy learning lessons that will make her a leader one day.

When Kya Mouse ruins the peace and tries to take over the throne in the magical Land of the Five Lagunas, Winnabelle gets to practice her creative problem-solving and smart negotiation skills.

The sweetest bedtime story you’ll read all year! Girls 3-8yrs. adore this fairy tale, and parents can’t help but fall for it too.

But will that be enough to save the day?
Is this really a job for a little princess?!

Find out now.
Buy the paperback and start reading the kindle version for FREE!

***

My plan is to publish three books this year, and I love having a backlog to pick from. Come November, I plan to do this exact challenge again.

Was it hard to show up every day and fit in it? Yes.

I had to get creative. Not just in the writing, but in the ‘how’ of fitting it in.

One day it was over voice memo as I drive back from Vegas.

Anther day it was on a plane while traveling for Thanksgiving.

Some days it was at 6 a.m. before the kids woke,

and many days it was while they were running around shouting at the top of their lungs (one of their favorite activities).

But in thirty days I wrote thirty stories.

And less than six months later, I am holding a printed copy in hand.

#1 new release PWMJ

Want to hear it read out loud? Check it out Here!

Or, you can grab your own copy of Amazon Here🙂 Share it with your Princess tonight.

P20

FREE Kids Activity: Plan your Best Trip Ever using the Five Senses

Extended breaks mean more activities to entertain the kids. Here’s a free video where I read one of my children’s books in its entirety + a fun activity to pass the time

Sometimes you just need something to entertain the kids for a few minutes while you prep dinner or send an email.

Other times you have entire days you need to fill: summer vacation, spring break, illness, weekends, quarantines…you feel me.

So…

I’m sharing a video where I read one of my children’s books in its entirety: Best Trip Ever!

Additionally I’m sharing a free resource to help extend this activity. It’s educational and fun!

After Watching the Video, follow along with the activity below.

I’ve included modifications for different age and learning preferences.

FREE Kids Activity:

Plan your Best Trip Ever using the Five Senses

 

 

Opening: You’ve just listened to the story “Best Trip Ever” now let’s plan our own exciting trip! We can do this by thinking about the things we would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear on our adventure. This is called using our five senses.

First let’s brainstorm where we would like to go if you were planning your own Best Trip Ever.

(Jot down a few ideas and pick one)

*For older kids encourage them to choose somewhere they have never been, younger kids will need a point of reference, possibly use somewhere they have been a few times*

Once you know where you would plan a trip, think about what you would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear while there.

Options (pick one – think of your child and how they like to engage):

  • Ask your child to find an object around the house, or in the yard, that represents what they would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear on their trip – for younger children, walk around with them and focus on one sense at a time
  • Write the five sense down and make a list under each of the things on your trip
  • Write out a story of where you would travel and what you would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear while there
  • Do the same as above, but leave out where you are traveling to and see if a parent or sibling can guess the location based on your sensory description

For more books and activities to help keep everyone happy and sane during extended breaks, follow my Facebook or Instagram @StoriesbyJKCoy

May the days be filled with making memories

and may the kids *pretty please* sleep in!

Cheers fellow parents.

 

New Release coming this Spring:

Princess Winnabelle and the Missing Jewels

P15-16_ColorP1

 

 

 

 

 

How to Write 30 Children’s Stories in 30 Days

#ChiBoWriMo 30 Writing Prompts for Children’s Books. Read on for thirty writing prompts to keep you motivated. 

I’ve fallen off the wagon.

This last year has felt out of sorts.

In the last two months, we have…

…said goodbye to our dog of fifteen years

…our 3.5 yr old daughter left the daycare she had been at since she was four months old and started at a new preschool

…we sold our house

…we bought a new house and did a large remodel in thirty days

…then we moved and went right into having house guests visit

All that to say, I need some routine in my life. Especially in my writing.

My birthday was this week and I’d like to start the year off right.

I want to help you gain a feeling of accomplishment too.  So whether you have thought it would be fun to write your own children’s book, or you just need a new goal to flex your creative muscle, I’ve got something for you!

Come November, you often hear the writing community discussing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Their goal is to finish a 50k word manuscript in the month of November.

It’s a great goal, but it doesn’t translate to those of us that want to write children’s books.

So in an effort to get motivated and try something new, I’m challenging myself to write 30 children’s books in 30 days. One book a day in the month of November,

Sure, these will not all be gems. I know that. But the goal is all about creating routine and space for creativity to come out.

Want to write 30 stories too??? I’m starting #ChiBoWriMo (Children’s Book Writing Month), and you can join me!

(yes I totally just made up #ChiBoWriMo)

Read on for thirty writing prompts to keep you motivated.  Then use #ChiBoWriMo online if you want to share your progress for accountability.

#ChiBoWriMo: 30 Writing Prompts for Children’s Books

  1. Write a story about a pet
  2. Write a short, silly rhyme for 1-3 yr olds (think Sandra Boynton)
  3. Write a story about a bubble bath gone wrong
  4. Write a story where they live in a strange location (spaceship, treehouse, etc)
  5. Write a story about how to promote kindness in the world
  6. Write a story about ice cream
  7. Write a story about kids that sell something
  8. Write a story about a free day with no routine
  9. Write a story about a unique animal
  10. Write a story explaining how you would make new friends if you moved to a new place
  11. Write a story about a grumpy object
  12. Write a story about a hair cut
  13. Write a story about something strange happening at the library
  14. Write a story that has a game element to it
  15. Write a story about an animal that is part of the circus
  16. Write a story about a secret door
  17. Write a story that pulls from a fond childhood memory
  18. Write a story on a hot topic for kids (use google to research)
  19. Write a story that has a character with a growth mindset
  20. Write a poem
  21. Write a story about a food eating contest
  22. Write a story about a shocking gift from a crazy aunt
  23. Write a story about the profession you wanted as a kid
  24. Write a story that revolves around one emotion
  25. Write a story about a child that woke up and was all of a sudden an adult
  26. Write a story about a never-ending supply of something totally normal (floss, paper plates, shoes, etc)
  27. Write a story about your car breaking down and having to ride your bike everywhere
  28. Write a story about waiting in line for a very long time (think about everything you might observe)
  29. Write a story about never growing up
  30. Write a story about something random you find in a junk drawer

 

Happy Writing!

Now I’m off to do ALL the Halloween things.  Thankfully I finally had kids so that I don’t have to be the creepy adult trick or treater in the neighborhood – anymore-:)

 

 

 

 

 

A Shout-Out to the ‘All-in’ Dads

Parenting doesn’t have to be attached to gender roles. Thankfully, it can be a team sport where we back each other up and fill in each other’s gaps.

To the ‘All-in’ Dads out there, we see you.

The Dads that…
Wake up at 4a.m. to console tears, make scrambled eggs for breakfast, pick out twinning shoes for them and their mini-me, make homemade baby food and pack lunches, braid hair and brush teeth, do the daycare/school drop-off, go to work, handle doctors appointments on lunch breaks, always carry the diaper bag, cheerlead at swim lessons and send photos from soccer practice, clean up vomit and pee sheets, make the best forts and sidewalk chalk art, get silly dancing in the kitchen with their little fam, and then wrap up the day with a bedtime routine that includes story-time character voices, laughter, lullabies, and back scratches.

johnlegandIG
Photo Credit: @Johnlegend Instagram

But even so, sometimes Dads get shorted just because they’re not Moms. Like a Dad’s contribution to his children is less significant because he doesn’t ‘do it all,’ and ‘needs the Mom.’

Sure, they didn’t carry their children inside them for nine months, or experience breastfeeding firsthand, but the longer women hold on to the idea that they are the one-and-only capable caregiver, the longer they belittle a Dad’s amazing assistance.

Ideally, no parent should be expected to have to do it on their own. Plenty of Dads totally step-up it when it comes to parenting these days, and spoiler – they are making Moms’ lives easier too.

dad reading to kids, best dad ever

Parenting doesn’t have to be locked to gender roles, especially in homes where both parents work. Thankfully, it can be a team sport where we back each other up and fill in each other’s gaps.

It’s about knowing each-other’s parenting strengths, joys, and weaknesses. But beyond that, it’s about stepping up as-needed for the good of our families.

therock3
Photo Credit: @therock Instagram

‘All in’ Dads, we see you going to bed satisfied and exhausted from killing this fatherhood thing all day.

We are lucky to have you, we appreciate the help you provide, and your children are better off by the fatherhood examples you set every day.

In short, thank you.

 

***

Traveling with children? You’ll love my next book. ‘Best Trip Ever’ will be out July ’19. Want to join the Launch Team and get an early copy of the book FREE?

Sign up here – and include the words ‘Launch Team’ in the subject.

Cover_front

 

Five Unconventional First Birthday Gifts

If you’re not sure you want to host a reception-sized baby bash or add another toy to the growing piles taking over your home, I’ve got your back.

My daughter’s first birthday was a special milestone I had been looking forward to for weeks.  But after stressing about the big birthday bash with our first, I vowed not to make the same rookie mistake when our second daughter turned one.

Instead we took a more unconventional approach to celebrating our second daughter’s first year.

If you’re not sure you want to host a reception-sized baby bash or add another toy to the growing heap taking over your home, I’ve got your back. Here are some unconventional gifts perfectly suited for your one year old.

Top 5 Unconventional 1st Birthday Gifts:

Write Their Birth Story – You’ve probably been thinking about jotting down notes from the day your baby entered your world, but it takes time and you haven’t had a lot of that in the last year.  Now is the perfect time to prioritize it.  The little details from that special day fade so quickly.  Sit down with a cup of coffee and spend some time reflecting on the day you met your little one.  Quickly write down all the little things that come to mind, then go back and put it in story form.  Need some inspiration to get started?  Read my birth story here. Finally, print out a couple of photos from that day to accompany the story.  It may even become a fun tradition to read your little one the story of their birthday every year on their big day!  If you’ve already recorded their birth story, you could write your child a letter telling them all the fun ways you’ve watched them grow and change over the last year!

Professional Photos – Baby’s one year birthday is a great time to capture the little personality that they are growing in to.  They likely have a few teeth that make an adorable little grin, and they can sit up, laugh, crawl, maybe even walk!  Plus, they aren’t old enough to complain about getting their picture taken yet.  Stop by the grocery store on the way to pick up a small cake. Then let them have fun getting messy at the end of the photo shoot.  You may even want to get in on the cake action; you did just survive your first year of parenting this little bebe!

Create a Will – Sorry, this one is full fledged adulting.  And while we all hope we will never need a will while our children are young, it’s not fair to your children not to address the topic early.  You need to spend some time thinking about who you would want to care for your children in your absence, any burial details, and how you would want your assets taken care of.    It’s not something anyone wants to focus on, but someday it will be a huge blessing to your children that you took the time to plan ahead.  In this case, the sooner the better if you don’t already have a will in place.

Indulge in a Date Night – To be clear, no kids allowed.  After a fun and busy first year, Mom and Dad need to make time to connect.  The first year of a child’s life is an amazing times in many ways, but it is also a time where your adult relationship takes a backseat to baby.  If you haven’t left your little one with a sitter yet, this is a good age to give it a try.  Baby is likely eating solids and sleeping through the night.  I promise your one year old won’t know if you get out without them, but you and other half will be beyond grateful.  Modeling what a happy couple does to STAY happy is an amazing gift we can give our children.  It’s so important, yet often overlooked.  Get out your calendar and schedule the time now.

Open a Savings Account – In less than thirty minutes you can open a savings account for your child wherever you like to bank.  While there, set up an auto transfer from your account to theirs.  By the time they reach eighteen you will have casually saved over $20k in their name by adding just $100 a month.  The auto transfer part is key.  Don’t let it be a choice each month, instead set it up to happen without fail.  Bonus: If you are lucky enough to have family members that like to buy your kids things, consider asking them to donate to their savings account instead, or at least some of the time (because every once in a while it’s fun for them to get something from the wish list)!

***

This entire list has been personally curated and tested by yours truly, a mother of a one year old.

Need something fun to accompany these gift ideas?

This book  has become a favorite for parents to share with their little ones. “Bought this for my daughter, and the first time I read it to her I could relate to every page, by the end I had tears. It nails parenting on the head.” – 5 Stars on Amazon

A FREE Book to Start the New Year – Today and Tomorrow Only!

The book is packed full of tips for those interested in the idea of a minimal intervention birth plan, and the second half of the book is dedicated to empowering and detailed birth stories.

The week ahead is pretty monumental.  It’s a fresh start – a new year!

Many of us are in the middle of goal setting. If you want to read my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions (hint: run from them) and some of my goals for the upcoming year, click here.

I actually heard from a friend today that said her goal is to read one book a week.  Wow.  That’s impressive.  And though that is not my goal this year, I love the idea of reading more. I know many of us hope to read more in 2019.

So in honor of helping others start the new year on the right foot – I am giving away my latest release for FREE ($9.95 value) on Amazon – today and tomorrow only!

Because You Are Superwoman birth.JPG

The book is packed full of tips for those interested in the idea of a minimal intervention birth plan, and the second half of the book is dedicated to empowering and detailed birth stories.

I’d love for you to share this with friends and family that would love to get their hands on their first read for 2019.

Cheers to your best year yet!


J.K. Coy

P.S. Here is the full link to grab the book FREE thru Monday night: 
https://www.amazon.com/Because-YOU-Are-Superwoman-intervention-ebook/dp/B07KDRK3TC/

 

Because You are superwoman #1 Amazon pregnancy and childbirth.JPG

Quit All 2019 Resolutions Today

Resolutions are for quitters. One slip-up and you feel like all is lost. You’re a failure. You didn’t try hard enough. Game over.

I am a goal setter. Are you?

I’m currently mapping out 2019. My list is long and spans many facets of life (business, marital, social, physical, spiritual, financial, family, hobbies…), but the one thing you won’t find on my list?

Resolutions.

Resolutions are for quitters. One slip-up and you feel like all is lost. You’re a failure. You didn’t try hard enough. Game over.

That kind of self-talk flat out stinks. It’s not motivating. Goals, on the other hand, help you frame everything with a growth mindset. “Today (fill in the blank) happened. What can I learn from that to take the next step toward the goal I set for myself to achieve in 2019?”

I literally just finished four miles on our treadmill, then picked up my phone and started typing this post. Probably not a huge surprise for those that know me, but two of my goals this year are:

1, Set a new PR for a half marathon. (Benchmark: Surf City 2017 1:50:14//8:25 pace)

2. Write daily. It could be in my journal, working on book four (another children’s book), or the next blog post – it all counts to me – I just want to make writing a part of my daily rhythm.

If you want to use the same goal tracker I’ve been using for years – here is the monthly and quarterly template view:

2019 goal box monthly

2019 goal box quarterly view

No matter which way you chose to attack 2019 – be courageous. Set big goals and set out an action plan for each.

Yes. You have to write it down.

More specifically you have to write down the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) action steps that will point you in the direction of your goal, and let you know if you actually got there!

Once you’ve decided on a goal and written down your S.MA.R.T. steps, share it with someone. A boss, a spouse, a friend, Instagram. Me. It doesn’t matter who, but it does matter that YOU DO.

This year I started by writing down every goal I could possibly hope to achieve in each category.  Then I spent the next week just letting them swirl around my head to see if…

…anything else came to mind…

…then really consider which one was most critical in each category.

Not which was the easiest to achieve, but what would truly take that area of life to the next level.

Next week I’ll be putting them in to my template so that I can track them weekly (honestly, sometimes weekly becomes monthly, but do what you need to do to keep yourself accountable).

Don’t be afraid to let this goal-setting process take a week or two.  Remember, you are planning out the next year.  That’s pretty major.

You’re pretty major.

GO GET THIS YEAR!

I’d love to hear which goal you are most excited to work on in 2019.  Drop it in the comments below.

File Dec 10, 8 46 26 AM
Happy New Year from the Coys! Cracking up because the little ones eyes are saying, “Help me!”;)  

 

 

Because You Are Superwoman; Chapter One Freebie!

An empowering experience that likely strays far from everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about birth. Start reading now!

My newest book release, Because YOU Are Superwoman, was a labor of love.

After nine months of research, collaboration, story compiling, cover design, editing, formatting, etc. launch day is finally here.

The book has over twenty positive birth stories, paired with six evidence-based steps for a Minimal Intervention (M.I.) Birth, to provide you with the confidence and skills you need to go after the birth experience that you desire. An empowering experience that likely strays far from everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about birth.

You can check it out on Amazon Now.

Or Start Reading Chapter One Below…

Chapter One: Claiming Your Superpower

My husband likes to refer to me as “Superwoman.”

Of course, no spouse constantly feels this way about their other half. I am highly aware that I have plenty of shortcom‐ ings. But when the subject of birth comes up, he likes to remind me how amazing it was to witness his wife being so incredibly strong and capable as we welcomed our daughters into the world.

It was two intervention-free hospital births in the last two years that earned me that designation. But painting myself as a strong, brave heroine isn’t the full picture. I am also the preschool wimp who got one ear pierced and then jumped into the store’s window display to hide because I was so filled with fear just anticipating the pain of the second poke. I actually refused to get the other ear pierced until the fourth grade.

Don’t worry, my mom did take out the lone earring to spare me from looking like a tiny pirate. No one wants their little girl to have to explain that she is a big wimp every time someone notices her pirate ear. Thanks, Mom.

So obviously, anticipating the pain of childbirth for over thirty years had me terrified. I assumed that when the day came my water would break somewhere wildly embarrassing. Then, with water dripping between my legs, I’d rush right to the hospital in a panic, screaming for the epidural the moment they sat me in a wheel chair. Then I’d lay on my back with my legs spread eagle, cursing my husband’s name for DOING THIS TO ME! The doctor would rush in just in time to catch my camera-ready newborn baby, and the nightmare would be over!

natural positve minimal intervention birth book amazon

Honestly, that was one of the only common birth examples I had ever been exposed to. On the very rare occasion that someone brought up a story involving a woman going au natural or desiring minimal medical interventions, it was surrounded by snide comments, alluding to the notion that the woman and her birth were a bit…crazy, granola, hippy, old-fashioned, uneducated, unplanned or reckless in the face of modern medicine.

My own sister-in-law had two home births after a tough hospital birth, so you would think I would have some other reference point. But she also now lives on a mountain in rural Argentina, so she is obviously a unique breed. It was difficult for me to relate to her and her “natural ways” when I finally found myself in need of childbirth advice. In fact, since we were really nothing alike, I assumed birthing without intervention wasn’t for me.

 

Me (Probably a Lot Like You)

I’ve spent years learning from higher instruction, earning degrees in business and education. I’ve worked in profes‐ sional environments for a decade and a half. I have a fairly progressive husband who willingly jumps in to help maintain the details of managing our household. Our finances are in order (meaning, I at least track my spending enough to know that I have burned through way too much of my daughter’s college education money at coffee shops as I pen this book). I’ve created a modest, yet comfortable, Pinterest-worthy home for my sensible family of four and our rescue companion, an elderly red dog that looks more like a dingo.

Alright, enough with the gold stars. We’re all bored.

But all that said, it is not unfathomable that I resist my intervention-free births being categorized as crazy, granola, hippy, old-fashioned, uneducated, unplanned, or reckless.

And I’m not the only one.

 

The New Examples of Birth

In this book you’ll read over twenty stories of amazing women who had positive birth experiences, all requiring very minimal intervention from modern medicine. These women have conquered their own self-doubt. They have stared down the deepest parts of childbirth, and now, you get to be a fly on the wall as you transport yourself into their stories and see how they found their own strength to kick childbirth squarely between the eyes.

The women in this book, myself included, are strong, educated, modern mamas who wanted more options to achieve a positive and healthy birth experience for them and their babies. Just like you, we had questions. We wanted to understand the “why” of our care. We wanted the evidence, and then we wanted to feel supported to make decisions with our family’s interests in mind. We did not want to make our birth decisions out of fear. When we looked at how modern medicine had overstepped its boundaries, we insisted on something better.

Just because birth interventions are so common that they are now considered normal, we knew that didn’t actually mean they were necessary or beneficial for us. They were not accepted as our standard for care.

Alternatively, we all knew how fortunate we were to have modern medicine as our back-up in case we were truly part of the small minority that should require intervention.

 

Some Alarming Intervention Data

According to the National Listening to Mothers Survey (2013), which interviewed over two thousand women who had birthed in the prior year, interventions in labor were closely linked to increased, unplanned cesareans. Specifically, the study noted women who received an induction or epidural were more likely to have an unplanned c-section. The most common forms of induction they referenced were the use of synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin), breaking a woman’s waters, inserting a finger into the cervix and “sweeping” or “stripping” the membranes, or a prostaglandin gel, pouch, or tablet placed near the cervix. Often times, women receive an induction concoction that includes two or more of these methods.

The idea that one intervention increases the likelihood of others, is often referred to as the “cascade of intervention.” Once interventions are introduced, the unplanned cesarean rate increases. Among first-time mothers who had term births and experienced labor, those who had both labor induction and an epidural were six times more likely to have a c-section (31%) than those who had neither intervention (5%). Get out your highlighter and make sure that last sentence is glowing.

Additionally, there are plenty of other routine birth practices that have become par for the course but show little benefit to a laboring woman: restricting food intake, using bladder catheters, restricted movement while attached to intravenous fluids, time constraints, continuous electronic fetal monitoring, and lying flat on our backs to push.

 

Reserving Interventions for Plan B

Please understand, I am not here to tell you that medical interventions are the devil. I am not on some witch hunt, crusading for women to deny all assistance during birth. I would like to assume these interventions were created with good intentions in mind. The problem lies in the fact that most interventions have become synonymous with childbirth in this country. And many have become widely used out of convenience, instead of necessity. Interventions have become the Plan A; the starting point for birth. As women, we have stopped asking “Why?” and started accepting that this is just what birth looks like in this country.

Unfortunately, this passive acceptance has come at a cost.

Medical practitioners perform cesareans at approximately 32% of U.S. births. That is almost one in three births that end with major surgery. Ultimately, cesareans have become the most commonly performed surgery in this country. It feels like that should be a red flag, birth in this country is in a bit of a crisis.

In fact, our cesarean rate is more than double what the World Health Organization recommends to reach the most favorable outcomes in decreasing the maternal and infant mortality rate. Staci Berrey, a doula for almost a decade, and owner of Labor of Love Birth Services in Orange County, CA, explained, “Medical intervention is not the enemy; it is the overuse of it for reasons that show little benefit to the laboring mother that we should take issue with.”

Interventions save mothers and their babies every day, but we should question whose best interest is being put first when an intervention is the starting point for birth in modern medi‐ cine. If we prepare a woman’s mind and body, make her feel safe and supported, and then get out of her way, the body is amazing and actually knows how to birth with very little assistance or intervention. If we were able to save costs on unnecessary interventions upfront, that would leave more money available for a woman’s follow-up care after delivery. One way to do this could be reducing the cesarean rate, since c-sections are fifty percent more costly to providers than vaginal births.

It should be noted that the United States has the highest maternal death rate among developed nations. Over sixty percent of maternal deaths are preventable with regular monitoring of the mother. After giving birth twice, I fully believe that waiting four to six weeks for a woman’s first postpartum check-up is far too long, especially since in the same time frame it is common to have three or more appoint‐ ments centered around your newborn.

A Mental Shift

When I found out I was pregnant with my first, I spent the first thirty-two weeks under the care of a traditional OB- GYN, who I actually really liked. But once I started to learn that my birth choices were greater than…

  • A tree-hugging, drug-free, painful birth or medical interventions as soon as I reached the hospital?
  • A home birth with no aide or a hospital birth where someone else made choices for me based on dated practices?
  • How soon did I want to be induced or would I rather just schedule a c-section?
  • An epidural or pure hell?

I started picturing the possibility of a minimal intervention, positive birth experience, based on the principles and prac‐ tices of believing in what my body was made to do (while not being embarrassed to admit I was totally open to evidence-based medical interventions that became necessary).

With this mental shift, I knew I needed to switch to be under the care of a woman who was experienced in advocating for using only those interventions that were in a woman’s, and her baby’s, best interest. Someone who routinely saw the miracle that our bodies are capable of with very little aide. Someone who truly believed that most medical interventions did not need to be common practice and would best be saved for Plan B, after first supporting me with less invasive techniques.

I knew that for me to fully trust someone during a time when I could feel scared and vulnerable, it would be critical to have someone in charge of the show who knew what was “normal” during a birth where medical intervention was an option, but a road taken only after a number of other more natural methods were exhausted.

Because You are Superwoman back

The Birth Dialogue

If we want to change birth in this country, we need to change the dialogue surrounding it. Birth doesn’t have to be trauma‐ tizing. Each woman sharing her story in this book truly believes that. We want to empower you with confidence in your mind and body. We want to give you the courage to seek a positive birth experience beyond the horror stories that society has routinely exposed us to. This means educating yourself with new perspectives of birth and seeking out care providers who specifically align with your goals. Our child‐ birth beliefs have such a profound impact on the care choices we make, on the way we labor, on our outcomes, and ulti‐ mately how we feel about our experience.

My Great Aunt Pat shared her positive, intervention-free, hospital birth story with me long before I was pregnant. She didn’t tell me it was orgasmic. She didn’t say it was easy. She didn’t say it was painless. But she did say it was totally, one hundred percent worth it. In fact, she chose to birth the same way two more times. At the end of her story, she turned to me with delight in her voice and said, “You could totally do it, too!”

Her words spoke power into me. She believed in me before I had even considered believing in myself. Because the confi‐ dence was coming from a strong woman who had fully expe‐ rienced birth and spoke positively about it, I trusted it.

But I was still nervous. How could she believe I could do something so unfathomable? Births like that are for superheroes. They are rare unicorns. They are for totally- committed natural mamas. They are for people so much stronger than me. But words are powerful, and the notion stuck with me.

A few years later, I found myself pregnant, and I recalled her confidence in me. I wasn’t sure what it all meant, but little by little, I started to put aside what I thought I knew about birth. By reading the mind-blowing stories of women who didn’t curse birth, but instead believed in their bodies and took charge of their care, I started letting go of the notion that childbirth was just some tragic event that women had to endure. Instead, I started getting excited about the life transforming power women can experience through childbirth.

By harnessing the confidence and techniques I learned from other remarkable women who had succeeded in the type of birth experience I wanted, I was able to create my own posi‐ tive examples of birth as I welcomed my daughters into the world. The same six techniques I used (laid out in detail in chapter three) can be replicated by anyone who wants their own minimal intervention birth. The journey began when someone opened my mind to the possibility of a positive birth experience and then instilled confidence in me with their positive words. From there, the responsibility fell on me to be an active participant in my care choices.

I want to pay it forward. I want to provide that same confidence to you. I believe in you. I believe in your body. I believe it is okay for you to stand up and ask questions. I believe you deserve a positive birth experience. You are an incredible, educated, strong, modern woman with a body that is capable of giving birth. Each of the women in this book believe in you. You are not too weak, too old, too broken, or too scared to just roll over and let birth happen to you. You have superwoman inside you.

It’s time you believe it.

Get Chapter Two Now.


 

If you enjoyed this preview, consider writing a review on Amazon to help spread the word!  You can add a review here.   here.

With Love – J.K. Coy

 

One More thing…

Share your positive birth posts with these tags to join the conversation and possibly be featured on my author pages: #MIBirth #BecauseYouAreSuperwoman @StoriesbyJKCoy