Life after Baby: The Unexpected
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Erin Stevens noted that “looking at rising rates of maternal mortality and postpartum complications, including mental health, and considering the experience of patients I was seeing in the office, it was clear to me that we could do a better job of preparing people for the postpartum experience.”
Although she originally planned to prepare a handout for Clinic Sofia patients, Dr. Stevens quickly learned that this topic was far too massive for just a handout. She wrote, “Unexpected: A Postpartum Survival Guide,” now available for pre-order, as an “honest, conversational, realistic guide for the postpartum experience.”
While most postpartum manuals focus on babies, “Unexpected” examines the issues many new parents struggle to talk about: stitches, C-section recovery, cramping and bleeding, pooping and peeing, sex, birth control, mental health, bonding and the various ways to feed babies.
Dr. Stevens wrote it as a welcoming guide for all people who can be pregnant – including gestational carriers, transgender men, those who have experienced a stillbirth and other pregnancy complications – and shares details on coping with expectations, questions to ask your healthcare provider, building a home postpartum survival kit and when to seek help.
“I think during a pandemic more than ever, it’s helpful to focus on priorities and not pressure oneself for perfection. Everyone should give themselves some grace,” Dr. Stevens added. “I don’t sugar-coat anything, but there is some humor in here and it’s concise and easy to digest.”
Dr. Stevens will host a virtual book launch event on Instagram Live (@unexpected_apsg) on May 7 at 7 p.m., where she will share an excerpt from the book and local comedian Ellie Hino will perform a short stand-up set. Then, Dr. Stevens will host a conversation with OB-Gyn friend Dr. Kristin Lyerly about improving the postpartum experience – with the chance to win a postpartum survival kit.