Women's perceptions of their recovery from childbirth were investigated by open-ended interviews of 96 mothers of health, full-term infants 6 months after delivery. Data included factors affecting physical, mental, and emotional recovery; sources of help and hindrance; ideas of what each women would do differently after the delivery of another child; and overall evaluation of how the months after delivery compared with expectations. Content analysis of the data revealed that 25% of the women did not feel physically recovered from childbirth at 6 months postpartum. Husbands and other family members were major sources of help. Prolonged labor and cesarean delivery were the major hindrances to recovery. More household and child-care help was desired after delivery of another child. Almost half of the women found the first 6 months after delivery more difficult than anticipated. The findings suggest that pregnant women need more information about lifestyle adjustments after childbirth.