We Wrote A Book! Podcast Episode #228
March 5, 2024

We Wrote A Book! Podcast Episode #228

Kristin Revere and Alyssa Veneklase chatted about their upcoming book “Supported: Your Guide to Birth and Baby.” Their book will be released on Mother’s Day.  Look for it on Amazon and ask for it at your favorite bookstore.  The e-book and audiobook will be available in early June.    

Hello!  This is Kristin Revere, and I get to chat with Alyssa Veneklase today, all about our big reveal.  Welcome, Alyssa!

Hey!  It’s been a while.

It has.  So we’ve been working on a project for a couple of years.

Oh, my gosh.  Seems longer than that.

I think because the project started with our Becoming A Mother course during the early pandemic and sort of branched off from there, it does feel like a lot longer, but certainly similar concepts.  I feel like we’re giving birth to something, or about to, anyway.  So do you want to reveal what we’ve been working on?

Sure.  So we turned our course and all the course work and all the topics of the Becoming A Mother course into a book where Kristin has written the first half about pregnancy and planning for birth, and then I wrote the second half on planning postpartum and newborn care and sleep.  It’s really exciting.

It’s exactly the way we have our Becoming A Mother course.  I facilitate the first section, being the birth doula, and then you, being the sleep consultant, and both of us are postpartum doulas, you took on the feeding and newborn care.  So we divided the book up the same way, and the title is Supported: Your Guide to Birth and Baby.  We’ve been working with an amazing publisher, McLaren Press.  We did the – I want to call it exciting, but it was also nerve wracking – experience of recording an audiobook. 

Yeah, that was interesting.  That was a lot of talking in one session!  But we got it done.

We did, yeah, with the amazing Ben Zito of Centennial Sound.  Many different people involved in this project.  The book will be out on Mother’s Day.  We’re just in final layout stages with our publisher.

Yeah, it will be exciting to be able to offer it as a gift or a guide to friends and family, a guide for students or for any new parent.

The perfect baby shower gift.  We created it not just for first time moms and parents but also for seasoned moms, to understand all of their options when it comes to planning for birth and baby.

Right.  And I know in my sections, I talk about, how do you deal with feeding a newborn when you have a toddler who’s also vying for your attention, and then how do you deal with sleep when you have maybe a toddler who’s not sleeping and you have to feed a baby and get a baby to sleep and nap, and then also try to find time to sleep yourself?  It’s definitely – no matter how many kids, if it’s your first or your third, there’s definitely information in there.

Exactly.  So what is your favorite part of the book as far as the process?

Oh, the process of it?  Just getting thoughts down and writing.  I’m not best ad lib, so when I have an idea, I really like to think about it and change it and talk to other people about it.  So I think getting things down on paper is just good for my brain.  And then having you – when you have someone who can read it and edit it and maybe help you make changes.  And then obviously the sleep portion is my favorite.  That’s my favorite thing to talk about.

I figured sleep would be your favorite chapter, and certainly our most talked-about section in the Becoming course.  Whenever we have live calls or questions in our private community, it’s almost always about sleep, whether it’s infant sleep or toddlers.  And you deal with age 3 to 5, even with your online sleep class that you offer.  It is definitely the hot topic, and there’s so much more awareness now about options like sleep consultants and overnight postpartum doulas to help families when they don’t have support nearby.

Yeah, and I think the sleep chapter is interesting because it’s not a one size fits all, like here’s how you do it.  It’s more of an educational chapter on what is sleep and how does it work for your kid at different ages, and how can you fit that into your current schedule and your current parenting style.  It’s really about finding the best fit for you and your family and not just saying, oh, well, my cousin did it this way, or my best friend did it that way, and now I feel like a failure because it’s not working for me.  Really, really hammering down this idea that every family is different and you have to figure out what’s right for you, and if everyone’s happy, then you don’t need to change anything.

Right.  Because some of those online sleep courses and books on sleep are not customized to unique schedules and situations, and they don’t work.  And then people are frustrated.  So yours definitely has more of that customization and tips on how to make it work for your lifestyle.

What about you?  What’s your favorite part?

As far as the process, I think – I had started on a different book concept back in my early days as a doula, so taking some of those original concepts and what we gathered before we launched the course in serving women that were either Gold Coast clients or in different moms groups about what they wished they would have known about pregnancy, birth, and early parenting.  And I really liked getting those concepts and making it work into a book about other people’s thoughts on what they would want to know, thinking that those are the people that would buy this book for friends, or might be having another baby and want to be told the real truth, that maybe your friends are embarrassed to talk about or don’t think that it’s a normal thing to share.  I mean, we talk about leaking.  We talk about pelvic floor therapy and what is normal and cramping after birth and your legs shaking – so many things that aren’t discussed in your provider prenatal visits or in moms’ groups that I think are important to share.

Yeah, and your chapters do a good job of sharing stories from other people, stories from moms, different writeups from other people.  You give a lot of different perspectives.

Yeah, and that is also key.  I love reading different birth stories with different outcomes, and w share postpartum and sleep stories, all from our own clients and their voices, and we even have a pandemic chapter that covered what it was like to go through pregnancy, birth, and early parenting when things were shut down and maybe some of the options you had planned for weren’t available to you.  Those stories are very impactful, as well.

And hopefully we don’t have to go through that again!

Hopefully not!  But even RSV and flu season –

If we do, at least we’ve been through it.  We’ve learned a lot, and things could be different.

Exactly.  I would say as far as takeaways, hopefully, whether it’s the stories that resonate for you or knowing your options in assembling your dream team for birth and baby, there’s so many different options that aren’t commonly known, from car seat safety technicians to different types of mental health therapists to support group options and so on that aren’t something you’re going to even learn in a childbirth class.

So as far as resources, what was your favorite resource to compile in our final section?  For me, it would be – I know you had a lot of feeding and sleep-related websites and trusted resources or books that you would recommend.  And I would say for me, it was gathering some of the resources that our expert contributors had thought were valuable, so everything from Jenni Froment from VBAC Academy and her favorite VBAC resources to Cristina Stauffer, who is our mental health therapist expert.  She talked about different support groups that were available.  So I would say some of those outside sources and trusted resources that they use within their own fields.

Yeah, I mean, again, just with sleep, I’m always intrigued looking up sleep statistics and how important it is and how devastating it is when we don’t have it, for adults and kids.  It’s probably the most rigorous research that’s done for the book is the sleep related topics.

Agreed, yes.  In the citations, I would agree.  There’s a lot of sleep research.

Well, it is exciting, and we will be updating you when we have the exact release date for the e-book and audiobook.  It should be in early June.  The print version will be out on Mother’s Day.  We’ll update about any events coming up, whether virtual or in bookstores, and we can add that to the blog.  We will have the book available in so many different formats because everyone consumes content in a different way.  So it will be Kindle download ebook format to the paperback or the option to do an Audible download and be able to have the book consumed in that way, especially if you have a membership and you don’t even need to pay for the book.  It will just be part of your monthly membership. 

Any final tips for our listeners that you’d like to share on either the book writing process or your favorite nugget from the book?

No, I’m just excited to have it complete and then hopefully it becomes a really great resources for new parents.  I want it to be something that people put on their gift registries and give to anyone they find out is pregnant to read while they’re still pregnant.  I’m just really excited for that.

Yes.  Me, too.  I think it will be a great shower gift and something to pass down.  You can purchase it for relatives or friends.  You don’t have to be pregnant to purchase it.  And I would say my takeaway is, we talk about it not only in your section on postnatal prep and recovery and early parenting, but also in mine – really trusting your own instincts as a mother during pregnancy, during birth, and listen to your own instincts versus relying on the way, say, your mom birthed or your friend chose to sleep train her baby.  Follow your own compass, and obviously, use evidence based research.  But each pregnancy, birth, and parenting journey is unique, and we talk about that throughout the entire book.

Right.  I agree.

Well, thanks for chatting with me, and we will keep spreading the word about the book.  But this was our first reveal, so very exciting to share it with our Ask the Doulas audience.

Yeah.  We will keep everyone posted!

Sounds good!


Birth and postpartum support from Gold Coast Doulas

Becoming A Mother course