Childbirth. Everyone has an opinion don’t they? How someone gave birth. What pain relief they used, if any. I’ve seen quite a few memes and posts pop up on social media recently as April is C-section awareness month. I read a couple of posts from the lovely Laura at Life with Baby Kicks about her experiences and feelings which gave me a good insight.
Then I have seen these memes going around on social media:
Have I missed something? I wondered why on earth there even needed to be these memes.
Were there people or groups out there that genuinely believed women who had a C-section were any less of mothers or even women? I even questioned; is this just an insecurity thing for those who have had a C-section, wishing they could have had a vaginal birth? Surely so many women could not all think the same way and there must be a catalyst out there causing these feelings and memes to appear.
Is a C-Section Easier?
I had a vaginal birth with no complications, three times. I know others who did. I know others who were induced, had assisted births, had epidurals, had no pain relief and those who had a C-section. For each person I eagerly wanted to know two things: was the baby ok? Were they ok? The mode of delivery was irrelevant.
I decided to do a bit of research online. I found a couple of memes I felt I couldn’t post as they shocked me so much, I believed for a woman sensitive about a C-section would find upsetting. I found many discussions on forums about the pros and cons. Women who had received comments such as “you had an easy option” or “lucky you”.
These thoughtful commenting people must have their heads in the clouds! I’ve not had a C-section but have spoken to others who have. Lucky to have an emergency procedure? Lucky to not be able to drive for 6 weeks post surgery? Lucky to have had major abdominal surgery? Lucky to need help and assistance for days afterwards? I don’t think so. I may have felt like I was kicked in the twinkle for a few days post childbirth but I was up and about and able to go for a walk and when I wanted to drive I could! In those first few weeks when company and getting out is so vital, the thought of being car-less and potentially in pain would have been awful.
I know in many countries a C-section is quite normal practice and if often elected. I do find this strange, I have to admit. Give you body a chance to do it how it should before going under the knife.
However, for the many I know the risk of mortality to the Mum or the baby or both was high for a C-section to be warranted. Many women are desperate for a VBAC next time, others prefer to have another C-Section due to doing what is safe and familiar.
So many times hubby and I have watched The Tudors or series set in the past; seen the women die in childbirth and thought, I would have been ok but many who I know, back in those days, would have died. Medicine has moved on. We have moved on.
Would an athlete be thought of as weak due to having a medical procedure on their leg so they could continue training and competing?
Are you weak for getting antibiotics to treat a chest infection? Perhaps you should struggle on and get on with it, as they had to many, many years ago.
Of course not! So why on earth is a woman being criticised for using modern medicine to save their unborn child and themselves? Are these people smugly making these comments seriously saying in these situations they would refuse a C-section due to the principle of having a vaginal birth?!
For those who judge: think before you speak. A C-section may seem like an easier option. It may seem like a different experience to a vaginal birth but for those who have had that decision ripped away from them, think about how you would have felt before smugly making comments. That fear of a risk to their child or themselves or that frustration of being so close to a vaginal birth but safety had to come first.
I know ultimately the safety of my unborn child was paramount during my labour but honestly I wanted that vaginal birth and to have it taken away would not have sat easy with me for a while.
People are just far too opinionated aren’t they! I had two vaginal births, but both very different. First natural no pain relief water birth (I was weirdly intrigued to see how it felt). 2nd was high risk hormone drip baby forced out of me, agonising & might have needed blood transfusion but luckily didn’t. After 2nd experience I would possibly select a C-section if I ever had a 3rd (not planning to though!) and I don’t think it would make any difference to how much of a Mother I am. So long as the baby is safe and well (and mother too) that is the most important thing. If someone is so terrified of the pain and opts for a C section, then that’s fine too. I think everyone should stop judging each other and other’s choices and we’d all be a lot happier 🙂
I’ve had two natural births and I fully believe that it doesn’t matter in any way, what sort of birth you have! It’s about getting your baby safely into the world, whatever it takes. I certainly don’t think a C section is the ‘easy option’!! Not even close!
I so agree! Good on you x
I had a traumatic natural birth first time around and it was in my birth plan to have a c section when it came to have baby number two because I didn’t think I could mentally do it again. Turns out he wanted to escape very quickly so it was a smooth natural birth again.
I wouldn’t see it as failing if I did have a c section, as long as baby comes out safe, that’s all that matters! #passthesauce
I think it’s just part of the wider emphasis on ‘getting back to nature’ with maternity care – things like skin to skin, breastfeeding, drug free births, etc, etc. All wonderful in theory but the reality isn’t so straightforward; if I hadn’t had a c-section the baby and I would have both died, simple as. I certainly don’t feel less of a mother for it! 🙂
I have seen a few memes on this subject in my time. Some very offensive ones as it happens. I’m going to deviate massively and say this is a debate (like breastfeeding) that would benefit from greater male input. You never hear men questioning why a woman has a c-section. I’ve generally only heard guys express sympathy and understanding to a woman’s predicament. As we generally watch the birth-giving scenario, I think we’re slightly removed from the emotion of it. Quite why anyone questions a woman’s ability to be a mother based simply on how she gave birth is beyond me. #truthabout
It’s a shame that whatever you do, someone somewhere will make you feel bad about it. If we broke our legs we wouldn’t be turning down pain relief or an appropriate treatment. Why should giving birth be any different?! Excellent post 🙂
Lovely post. I, myself, have had four C-sections. They were all brutal, all traumatic. I hated ever one of them and part of me resents my body for not being able to do the one great thing a woman’s body is designed to do. I am envious of mothers who give birth naturally, as it was something I tried to do many times and failed at repeatedly. But I don’t feel like any less of a mother or woman because of it. You just can’t let things like that define who you are. Not to mention giving birth (regardless of how) is just a small drop in the bucket next to all the billions of other super important decisions and trials we will face as parents for the rest of our lives. Baby was in you…now baby is out of you. We’re all the same, lets get on with it. 😉 But I absolutely love how you stand up for motherhood unity. Wonderful read. #thetruthabout
Agreed lovely – I also wrote a recent post on this subject (please have a read) It’s insane that people think a c section is an easy option! xx #PasstheSauce
Like you, I had no idea that this kind of ‘birth shaming’ was even a thing until recently. How someone ends up giving birth is nothing to do with being ‘a woman’ – some women don’t ever give birth, does that make them less of a woman? Putting aside the lengthier recovery from a C-section, each labour is different, and there should be more recognition of that – not judgement because someone else’s labour didn’t go exactly how yours did. We’re lucky in this day and age that we have the options of medical intervention where it’s necessary, and we shouldn’t be shaming people if they happened to need assistance – you’d never think of saying that to someone who needed their appendix out!
This is a great post and completely agree with u. I had an emergency c section for a number of reasons:- I was exhausted from nearly a week of contractions, Logan’s head wasn’t in right place and was partially back to back and I pushed for an hour and half and he didn’t budge they tried assisting but in the end I was just to tired I couldn’t do it. And that’s hard I feel like I failed but I think that is partly because there is a society that says I’ve failed
Wow. I totally agree that *how* the baby came out is kind of irrelevant. For me, first time round I was so scared and anxious about the birth that I kind of wished I had a breech baby or something so that I would be offered a C section because it seemed so much more calm and controlled. Then I learned all the really bad stuff about it from my midwife – the first time I realised that it was essentially major surgery with all that entails and it didn’t seem quite so appealing! I would have been devastated if I hadn’t been able to get up and out for not just days but weeks! My first and second birth were so different – the fear first time round led to all sorts of interventions including an epidural, and second time such a calm, controlled water birth but I think that was down to my greater knowledge and belief in myself, that I could do it and I’m really lucky I had that option available to me. Anyone who had to have the surgery for whatever reason does not need to be made to feel badly or negatively about how or why that happened. Sheesh! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout Xx
I can’t believe C-section shaming is even a thing. Even though I feel disappointed to the point of being horrifically jealous of everyone who ever had a vaginal birth, no matter how awful (ridiculous I know), I would be horrified if someone ever made a comment to me about being less of a mother or less of a woman. As many other commenters have said, no one would shame someone for having a heart transplant or their appendix out! #PasstheSauce
I really don’t understand how a c section can be the easy route. Granted I was very lucky and had a relatively straightforward natural birth but a couple of my close friends had a c section and really struggled – split stitches, challenges breastfeeding, not being able to walk for a while afterwards. C section shaming makes me very angry. Please whoever you are stop! #thetruthabout
I really don’t understand how a c section can be the easy route. Granted I was very lucky and had a relatively straightforward natural birth but a couple of my close friends had a c section and really struggled – split stitches, challenges breastfeeding, not being able to walk for a while afterwards. C section shaming makes me very angry. Please whoever you are stop! Thanks for your post. Pen X #thetruthabout
I can’t believe that there is even an argument/discussion about this… when we give birth, we always choose what’s best and safe for our babies. I have two C-sections, because I have no choice, both my kids are big babies and I can’t deliver them normally. I would have chosen vaginal birth if it’s possible because recovery is faster, but it’s just impossible in my case. I don’t see myself less of a mother for having C-section either! Lovely post! #bestandworst
I can’t believe that there would even be a discussion about C sections? Why would how we give life, yes, give life be even part of the equation of being a good mother? I personally know women who have C sections, like you say, so that they are able to give birth safely and to be safe themselves. How you give birth does not make you more or less of a mother in any way. Thanks for sharing with #PasstheSauce
I had a section with holly as she was breach. Looking back on it for some reason i don’t think i bonded with her like i should have. Possibly because i could do some things with her the first few days. Some people look down on me though when they find out i didn’t push her out lol. But hey ho!
Very well-written post Sarah! It’s strange that some women feel they need to remark about another person’s decision- or in many cases (including mine) a decision which is not made by them but by an expert to ensure your baby arrives safely. Thank goodness we live in a country where we have access to good medical care! It’s likely I’ll have to have another c-section with my second when I really would like a natural birth. But, It does not make a jot of difference to being a mother and I certainly won’t be taking to heart any negative comments about it