Dr. Elspeth Call is a forward-thinking obstetrician, gynecologist, and gynecologic surgeon at Trinity Medical OB/GYN. She’s also a proud mama to three kids of her own. 

Postpartum care has always been a priority in Dr. Call’s practice. But it seems it took the rest of the world some time to catch up.

Fairly recently, conversations about postpartum care have become more mainstream. Women (rightfully so) are on the hunt for resources, answers, and support following childbirth. 

It wasn’t until 2018 that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) declared the postpartum period a continuum of care. Meaning, women aren’t “done” when they deliver. A truly successful delivery includes care that extends about six months to year following childbirth, for both the newborn and the new mom. 


An OB/GYN Sounds Off on the “Identity Shift” of Motherhood

Elspeth Call, MD

Elspeth Call, MD

Obstetrician, Gynecologist, and Gynecologic Surgeon

Which part of becoming a mother doesn't get talked about enough?

Motherhood is an identity shift. Your entire existence has shifted. You’re wrapping your head around becoming a mom – and there’s so much emotional labor that comes with that. 

What do you say to women who don't feel confident in their bodies post-baby?

You’re still healing, and your body is still healing. Not just physically, but emotionally and hormonally as well. 

It can be especially difficult for women who have gone through childbirth more than once. I have three kids, and I had three profoundly different postpartum experiences. After my third baby, I was still heavier than what was “normal” for me. I felt disgusting, none of my clothes fit. But I bounced right back after number one! 

What's the biggest postpartum concern amongst your patients?

“Am I incontinent now, is that going to go away?” And it does. I also hear a lot of concerns about pelvic organ prolapse. 

In terms of motivation to get back into shape, moms who had a C-section are usually less motivated than moms who had a vaginal delivery, which requires less healing. More C-section moms tend to be concerned about their scars, about diastasis recti. 

Real talk, it’s not always comfortable. And as we get closer to delivery, I do try to talk to my patients about what to expect with their bodies. The most important thing is to keep your OB/GYN in the loop about how you’re feeling. 

What misconceptions about the postpartum period do you try to address?

I think mainstream media and social media both put such a focus on the birth itself, the birth story, the birth experience. There’s such a buildup working toward delivery, and then I feel women still tend to get lost in the shuffle postpartum. 

The biggest misconception is probably that your body should be back to normal by the time you’ve finished maternity leave. That six week time slot is just an arbitrary cut-off point created by insurance companies, for when they think it’s safe for new moms to return to work. You might not feel “back to normal” at the end of a six to eight week maternity leave… and that’s okay. 

I think checking in one week after delivery is important, and I’ve always advocated for that at the practices I’ve been part of. 

What advice do you have for the support person or partner of a new mom?

Don’t comment on their body…ever!

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Call
Call (716) 846-1190

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Call
Call (716) 846-1190