At last there is a book about post-natal recovery that is positive about caesareans. Too often women who give birth in this way are described as “too posh to push,” or having “failed” to give birth normally. When you are talking about such an important part in a woman’s life, any trace of negativity is not welcome.
Gallagher-Mundy is a personal fitness expert by profession, and has presumably encountered hundreds of women who are struggling to cope with their physical recovery following a caesarean.
The book starts with a chapter that describes the reasons why you might end up having a section, what the procedure is and the consequences of having anaesthetic. The book provides enough detail to be informative but not so much as to come across like a biology textbook or to frighten people who are booked in for the surgery but do not know what to expect.
The next section is entirely devoted to the first week after the operation, which is an excellent idea given that this is when, as a new mother, you are presented with the task of not only having a newborn to look after but also having to recover from a major operation. Here the book is as realistic as it is helpful. Too often we are presented with images in the press of women who are squeezing into their size 8 jeans days after their caesareans (no doubt with the assistance of a contemporaneous tummy tuck).
Gallagher-Mundy’s book instead gives you an altogether more realistic account of what to expect, including information on moods and depression and psychological changes. The first week after any birth is a roller coaster ride of emotions. However, after a caesarean, you may have to contend with feelings of guilt or disappointment that this is not how you expected things to go.
Most other post-natal books speak about a recovery period from a C-section being 6 weeks. Gallagher-Mundy, on the other hand, describes the much more natural period of 24 weeks before her reader can expect to feel normal again.
The book will appeal to women who want an active part in their recovery. In addition to the standard advice to eat healthily and take things easily, the writer really comes into her own, with exercise advice that will help new mothers to reclaim their own body. This is important when you are feeling out of control.
If you are looking for a text that is heavily based on scientific research and evidence based analysis, you may be disappointed because this book is more of an opinion piece.
However, Gallagher-Mundy’s book does stand out among its competitors as a unique voice promoting an exercise regime that is both achievable and fun! The photos that illustrate the exercise steps where the mother and baby interact are particularly delightful.