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The cover of "Unexpected: A Postpartum Survival Guide", written by Dr. Stevens




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: A Postpartum Survival Guide, I set 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, I walk 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.


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A straight-forward, no-nonsense guide to what to expect in the postpartum period. Dr. Stevens provides easy-to-read, accessible information that gives a realistic view of what's to come for people who have just given birth, normalizing a common, yet stigmatized part of the birthing experience. She keeps it real and breaks through the stigma of the after birth, opening the door for people to better understand what they are going through and when to be concerned.

– Dr. Sarah Traxler, MD, MS, FACOG - Chief Medical Officer, Planned Parenthood North Central States

Dr. Stevens’ writing style is charismatic and winsome.  She keeps the content concise and usable.  She relates to the modern woman (ehhem, 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.

- Dr. Jesse Lillejord, DC - chiropractor and founder of Chiro for Moms


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 OB/Gyn, 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, and closing 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.

- Dr. Kristin Lyerly, MD, FACOG - OB/Gyn

Dr Stevens writes a concise, straight-forward, and inclusive post partum guide for pregnant people. There are so few of these examples, where the author is simultaneously medically accurate, and socially aware of what the gestating parent is going through both physically and emotionally. The fact that that is written to be inclusive of all genders, is just the cherry on top. It’s an easily digestible and ‘just in time’ guide that will surely become a classic.

- Ethan Clift - Soon-to-be-Dad, transgender FTM, 7 months pregnant

Unexpected: A Postpartum Survival Guide takes a real, raw look into the areas of postpartum that no one else 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 thepotential hurdles that the time after pregnancy can bring in a quick and easy format.

- Emily Kossila, CD - birth doula, birth photographer, childbirth educator, and founder of The Tidal Doula

The postpartum period is an often forgotten part of pregnancy by health care professionals and perceived as a quiet family time for new or expanding families. While it can be a time of great joy it comes with challenges especially for new mothers. Unexpected: A Postpartum Survival Guide offers a tremendous resource for families after birth and a road map for what to expect after the traditional “expecting” part of pregnancy is over.  This book should be part of every new mother’s must read list.

- Dr. Anthony Sciscione, DO, FACOG, MFM - Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist and OB/Gyn residency program director 

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