When it comes to motherhood, why are mothers often the least talked about? Sure there are tons of books and articles out there that tell us how to mother/parent and even more that judge how some of us parent/mother. But what about the books that focus on and go into candid detail about the physical, mental and emotional aspects of being a mom, especially surrounding new motherhood? Having once searched for those books for months almost nine years ago, I can tell you that there aren’t many. Thankfully, new moms like Kelly Rowland and her OB/GYN, Dr. Tristan Bickman, are changing that with her new book, Whoa, Baby!: A Guide For New Moms Who Feel Overwhelmed and Freaked Out.
Instead, Whoa, Baby! is a welcomed breath of fresh air when it comes to guides for new moms in my opinion. Kelly Rowland gets very candid and open about a lot of topics that I feel either get glazed over, swept under the rug or just not talked about at all. I love her honesty in talking about the pain our vaginas go through after birth not only from the act of just pushing our babies out, but also from the vaginal tearing that happens to roughly 95% of us birth our children vaginally. When I flash back to talking about my labor and delivery with my first OB/GYN before I delivered Moo, she made vaginal tearing sound like something that could happen, but probably wouldn’t.
Boy, was she wrong. I ended up with an almost third degree tear folks. And let me tell you ladies, there ain’t nothing comfortable about having stitches in your lady bits. I definitely wish I had known that tearing was the norm for first time moms and not as rare as my doctor had made it seem because I feel like I could have better prepared myself mentally for the pain afterwards and would have actually stocked up on items like an inflatable donut and those ice-pack underwear.
Aside from vaginal tearing, Kelly Rowland also shares her struggles with constipation, worrying breastfeeding after getting breast implants, sex after baby, and her battle to love her post baby body. She even talks about postpartum depression, a subject that even today is still considered a bit taboo to talk openly about. And throughout all of her sharing, Dr. Bickman interjects her professional opinions and advice in way that is seamless and doesn’t take away from the intimate feeling of the book.
And while we’re on the subject of Dr. Bickman, I just want to say that I wish I had the opportunity to have her as my OB/GYN. She has a tone/personality that comes across as no non-sense, straightforward and brutally honest, but with a little humor sprinkled in. You can definitely tell that she’s seen and heard it all and is completely comfortable talking about any subject, regardless of how embarrassing, with her patients. You can also tell that she values her patients and has no problem being an advocate for them when needed.
Seriously, I’m more than a little bummed out that Kelly Rowland didn’t have child before I did because I could have totally used Whoa, Baby! before and even after I had Moo. Rowland talks about how we as moms don’t really talk about the not so pretty aspects of new motherhood, even with our close friends and family members. This got me to thinking and she’s right. I had two girlfriends who had children before I did, they never warned me about the stuff that Rowland and Dr. Bickman talk about.
While I’m glad new moms and moms-to-be now have Whoa, Baby!, I can’t help but encourage moms to start talking to our close friends and family about these things when they ask what our experiences were like. It’s time to stop being ashamed or embarrassed to talk about our needs and struggles. It’s time to keep it all the way real so that we’re not sending our loved ones into this experience blind.
I appreciate Rowland’s openness and willingness to share what her experience was like. I enjoyed the tone of this book and how it felt like she was confiding in me as friend and not just a reader. Whoa, Baby! is definitely a must-read for new moms and moms-to-be. I’d even recommend this book to not-so-new moms like myself who’ve always wanted a book that gets real about our needs and experiences as new moms, but couldn’t find the right one.