Caesarean Sections, more commonly known as the C-Section. Note how I used the word “commonly”, they are an incredibly common procedure, in fact, around 1 in 4 UK births are c-sections. So why are they still getting a bad rep?
I’ll start by saying no one, NO ONE, ever has the right to tell you you are less of a mother because your child was brought into the world via c-section. If they do? Be done with them, you do not need, nor deserve such negativity. It sucks to be told that, I’ve been told I don’t know what it’s like to give birth, I spent 36 hours in labour and had surgery to save mine and my child’s life. I do know what it’s like to give birth, my birth story just might be a little different to yours.
So let’s bust a few myths here shall we!
BUSTING C-SECTION MYTHS
“You’re too posh to push”
- I used to joke about this one when we performed embryo transfers in horses, we’d say that the egg donor mare was “too posh to push” I’ll not get into the complexity of embryo transfer in horses, because the reasons for reproduction in horses and humans are worlds apart. The point is when you’re saying that to a mother who has just had life changing surgery, (yes it’s life changing!) then you really need to take some time to educate yourself on how major this regularly performed surgery really is.
“It’s the easy way to give birth”
- Now I’ve never had a vaginal birth, but I know many, many women who have, let me assure you NO form of childbirth is easy, so let’s stop saying that one shall we, to all mothers.
- Secondly the recovery after a C-section is brutal, the first time I stood after surgery required 2 people to pull me to my feet otherwise I’d never have pushed through that pain. The expression “I feel like I’m splitting in half” has never been so vividly true.
“You’ll not be able to breastfeed”
- This is a big fat lie! It is true that your milk supply may take a little longer to establish, but you absolutely can have a beautiful breastfeeding journey after a c-section.
“You didn’t really give birth”
- I HATE this one. Yes I (and every other c-section mother) did in fact, give birth, we just required a little help. You wouldn’t say that Lewis Hamilton didn’t really win the Grand Prix because someone changed his tyres for him. Celebrate that win, Mama has just given birth (although maybe pour her Champers in a glass not all over her)
“Loads of people have c-sections, what’s all the fuss about”
- It’s a real tough blow having a c-section, it can take away all of your birthing wishes and dreams, it puts you in the back row when you should be centre stage. It can be a lot for someone to come to terms with, so be kind, they’re probably hurting emotionally and definitely physically.
- It’s major surgery, you’d make a fuss over someone having their appendix cut out through keyhole incisions, so make a fuss over that new Mama who’s just had huge abdominal surgery, can barely move and now has someone completely dependent on her for survival!
Becoming a Mother is intense, emotional, exhausting and to have someone make that time harder for you is a painful experience. You birthed a child, you did, in the way in which you had to. Don’t ever let anyone pull you down for that, there’s already a strong chance you’re telling yourself that you failed, you didn’t, you are a superwoman and totally bossing being a new Mama.
Be kind to yourself, I know it’s tough, it may not have been what you wanted, but your child will never think any less of you for the way they were born.