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Parenting & Families - Pregnancy & Childbirth

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Unexpected: A Postpartum Survival Guide

ISBN: 9781634893190
Binding: Paperback
Author: Erin Stevens, MD
Illustrator: Lisa Troutman
Pages: 192
Trim: 5 x 7 inches
Published: 5/6/2020

Your postpartum body is a wonderland-as in Alice in Wonderland, where things can grow and shrink and become curiouser and curiouser.

We all know what goes into preparing for a baby, but how does a pregnant person prepare for what happens to their body and mind postpartum? Life after delivery is veiled in secrecy by cute little bows and animal-themed burp cloths, leaving people dangerously in the dark about which postpartum issues are normal or concerning. In Unexpected, OB/GYN Dr. Erin Stevens sets the record straight about what happens to postpartum bodies, no matter their gender identity, delivery outcome for themselves or the baby, or parenting status.

From vaginal stitches to your first postpartum poop, Stevens walks you through warning signs from your body, questions to ask a healthcare professional, and supplies to build your own home postpartum survival kit. With advice on topics including breastfeeding and formula-feeding, exercise, and sexual activity, as well as resources to support your mental health and other needs, Unexpected illuminates even the darkest secrets of what happens to people postpartum.


Erin Stevens, MD, is an OB/GYN physician in private practice in Minnesota. She is involved in legislative advocacy for reproductive health at a state and national level, and has penned a number of articles for patient education in local publications. She enjoys running, biking, karaoke, trivia, cribbage, playing piano, and spending time with her husband, Luke.


"Unexpected: A Postpartum Survival Guide takes a real, raw look into the areas of postpartum no one talks about (hellooo, night sweats!). I applaud Erin's devotion to inclusion in creating this one-of-a-kind resource that takes all postpartum people into account as it discusses in a quick and easy format the potential hurdles the time after pregnancy can bring." - Emily Kossila, CD, birth doula, birth photographer, childbirth educator, and founder of the Tidal Doula

"This is the essential postpartum manual, based on the premise that 'you deserve compassionate attention and answers.' Drawing on her experience as a popular, board-certified OBGYN, Dr. Stevens addresses common fears, beliefs, and experiences in this comprehensive guide to the mysterious, often challenging, always unique postpartum period. An insightful yet humorous resource, Unexpected anticipates the questions that you can't—or won't—ask your own doctor, including how the body and mind evolve during this transformative time. Unexpected closes each straightforward chapter with a helpful checklist of relevant warnings, questions, and supplies. An indispensable resource for any 'phoenix' who has recently welcomed a newborn into the world." - Kristin Lyerly, MD, OBGYN

"In Unexpected, Dr. Stevens relates to the modern woman (ahem, phoenix) and doesn't side-step the tough, uncomfortable, or non-PC topics. She offers personal insight and tools to encourage absolute success during the postpartum phase of life." - Jesse Lillejord, DC, founder of Chiro for Moms

"Dr. Stevens writes a concise, straightforward, and inclusive postpartum guide for pregnant people. It's an easily digestible and 'just in time' guide that will surely become a classic." - Ethan Clift, soon-to-be-dad, transgender FTM, seven months pregnant