( CNN) Culturally, the postpartum body is a source of biding fascination. We are enthusiastic commentators of women’s shapes after childbirth and celebrate those who shed all evidence of pregnancy a few months after having a baby. These are the women who, as tabloids put it, “bounce back, ” even though few believe that the effort involved was akin to ricochet or any such rapid and organic movement.
Medically, the postpartum body is basically invisible. In the United States, females generally have just one appointment in this period, six weeks after childbirth, and it tends to be brief.( The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently recommended
changing this .) We are largely — and a little hopelessly — on our own when navigating the various aches and dysfunction that pregnancy and childbirth leave in their wake.