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Even the yummiest of mummies can probably identify with the opener of Dana Wood’s new book “Momover.” In a no-holds-barred description of a new mother hitting the ultimate low, Wood is tanning in a park behind her apartment, “blubbering like a whale” as she rubs suntan lotion onto a post-pregnancy (read: “pudgy belly and spider-veined thighs”) body. “I was a mess,” writes Wood of the 2006 incident. “As the tears streamed down, it dawned on me that there was no way I was going to recoup my formerly sky-high energy level, laser-sharp focus and once-great ass unless I expended an insane amount of effort and elbow grease. In short, I needed a momover.”
That subsequent mom makeover is the subject of Wood’s first book, published by Adams Media, which has its origins in a similarly titled online column she wrote for Cookie magazine while an editor there (she is now the senior fashion features editor at W).
“I was really thrown for a loop by having a kid,” says Wood, who was 43 when she gave birth to her daughter Parker. “There were so many things I wanted to know about: Why did I feel bad at this stage? Why did I feel good later? All these health and emotional issues.”
“Momover,” which now has its own accompanying Web site and blog, will be feted Wednesday night with a party hosted by Debi Wisch. Combining journalistic reporting with a chummy, girl-next-door tone, the book offers advice from professionals like celebrity dermatologist Dr. Fredric Brandt and fitness expert David Kirsch, and addresses serious postpartum body and health issues. Throughout, Wood infuses it with her own humorous word inventions, coining phrases such as “foffee” (fake coffee), “mom squad” (the circle of friends who provide personal anecdotes through the book) and “D.D.”, or “Diapered Darling,” to refer to her daughter. A section on the dangers of dehydration is titled, for instance, “H2OMG: If I see one more water bottle…” Of the importance of keeping one’s pH levels balanced, she writes, “I’ve pHelt absolutely terrific.” The result is an amusing, but informative mind-body-spirit guide that had Wood slipping into the unfamiliar role of self-help guru.
Turns out, it’s not so awkward a fit for the W editor. “I tapped into so much inner crunchiness I didn’t know existed,” says Wood. “I’m really good at doing that ‘You go, girl’ stuff. I want to be a life coach now. I’m not kidding you.”