• 'One Hot Mama'

    Klamath Falls woman shares her strategies for reclaiming physical, mental and spiritual health after pregnancy
  • Motherhood for Erin Cox began on a California military base 40 miles from the nearest Mojave Desert town.
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  • Motherhood for Erin Cox began on a California military base 40 miles from the nearest Mojave Desert town.
    Cox felt more than isolation. She was so desperate for some insight into postpartum emotions and experiences that she drove 75 miles to a Barnes & Noble store. Her search for a guide to coping with and managing her new life, however, was fruitless.
    "There's tons of books on parenting; there are books on nursing," says Cox. "But there's nothing that focuses on the mom."
    So Cox, now 36, started writing her own book, first by examining herself, then by emulating fellow military wives and mothers who seemed to look and feel their best, even if just playing with their children at the park. Although they left rewarding careers and loved ones to support their spouses' military service, most of the women she encountered on the base, says Cox, appeared to thrive.
    "These are women who embody what being a hot mama is."
    Cox's book, "One Hot Mama," published late last year by Hay House, is a 300-page, three-month manual for moms' self-care, whether immediately following childbirth or years after the fact. In the conversational voice of a "best friend," Cox shares strategies for reclaiming physical, mental and spiritual health, including nutrition tips and exercise plans. Subtitled "The Guide to Getting Your Mind and Body Back After Baby," the book is full of Cox's personal anecdotes and the acknowledgement that motherhood isn't necessarily instinctual, but a struggle for many women.
    "It just kind of makes you question everything," says Cox. "I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself anymore."
    Now a resident of Klamath Falls, Cox worked for 10 years as an environmental engineer before the arrival of her first daughter, Ella. Cox initially continued to work in her field from her husband's military base, but her world came crashing down two weeks after giving birth.
    On the same day, Cox's mom ended a two-week visit, taking invaluable support with her, and Cox's husband, Steve, went back to work. The first chapter of "One Hot Mama" recounts Cox's hormone-fueled resentment as her husband drove away to work like a "real adult" while she could hardly bear the pain of breastfeeding and the prospect of being alone all day with her baby.
    "I had no idea how hard it was going to be," Cox told a group gathered for her January reading at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland. "All my friends made it look effortless."
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