Natural Birth? Is that Even a Thing? The “Beloved” Cesarean

In the day and age where the Internet Bully prevails and seems to have power through their tiny devices, Internet Shaming has become the norm. I see memes about Breastfeeding Vs Formula feeding, Screen time vs No Screen time, Co-Sleeping Vs Cry It Out and the most ridiculous of them all Natural (vaginal) Birth Vs Cesarean Birth (aka C-Section). There was even a photographer who told a client they would not photograph the birth because she was not giving birth.

“A surgery isn’t birth, my dear. You aren’t giving birth. You are having surgery to remove your baby from your abdomen. That is not birth no matter how you swing it and I for one don’t want to be there to take pictures of it.”

Well, April is Cesarean Awareness Month and I had a Cesarean birth twice! Did I mention I had my C-Sections 16 months apart? None were elected. I did not raise my hand when the OB ask the expecting mother’s in the waiting room if they wanted to have a Cesarean (ok so that’s not really how the discussion about Vaginal vs C-section goes with your doctor, but the way some people behave, one would think it does). I have seen T-shirts that says: “Natural Birth, Baby Wearing, Co-Sleeping, Breastfeeding…” AND seeing stuff like this makes me CRINGE! On one hand, the educated me understands why this needs to be advocated for, because there was a point where C-sections were being done unnecessarily, Breastfeeding education was not done, and mothers just weren’t educated properly on their options. However I do see what Social Media and the general public does with this information. Information is dissected and used to promote an agenda or even worse used to shame a person, as in the case of the photographer.

I told my story of how my first C-section happened, but my second C-section was actually scheduled. I would have loved to try a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) but I was only 8 months postpartum when I became pregnant with Baby Bear, and I risk uterus eruption if we attempted a VBAC. Some have suggested I should have gone to a Midwife or a Doula and they may have tried a different route, while this may have been perfect for them, it was not the option I felt comfortable with. I have always been the type of patient that is super sensitive to medication, and that proved to be the case with my first born; so for me to be comfortable, I needed to be in a hospital setting with a Doctor that could intervene if any problems aroused. Seeing that there were complications with the first delivery and I was induced, induction was not an option for the second time, and the safest option (although still contains risk) was a second C-section. A little confession, my OB is not the type to elect for a C-section or induction unless it is really necessary. I did my research on him, he is old school, and I trust him, so when I came in pregnant with number 2 at 8 month postpartum, he immediately told me you are having a C-section and I agreed with him.

Did you know that rates of maternal morbidity were higher for cesarean than vaginal deliveries?

Did you know that roughly about 1 out of every 3 births in the United States is done via Cesarean?

Here are some facts about the “Cesarean”:

☕️Induced labor is becoming more common and is associated with the rise of C-sections

☕️There are some non medical trends causing the alarming increase in cesareans across the U.S. This includes some healthcare providers and insurances favoring cesarean over vaginal birth for varying reasons, such as malpractice, convenience, and less labor time, just to name a few. Some may even argue, that Hollywood has “glamourize” the C-section.

☕️Although the United States may have an alarming rate of C-Sections there is evidence that suggest that a cesarean is optimal in terms of the best outcome for mom and baby(ies).

☕️The healing process of a C-section is much longer (about 6 weeks, it is surgery) than that of vaginal birth, and when polled, most would have rather to have the vaginal birth.

☕️Births that result in C-sections may delay the woman’s breastmilk production.

Here are some ways to decrease the chances of needing a C-section according to National Partnership for Women & Families:

• Choose a care provider with a low C-section rate. Cesarean rates can vary widely from one maternity care provider to another. This is largely due to personal “practice style” rather than needs and preferences of women. Midwives generally have lower cesarean rates than physicians.

• Stay active and get exercise during pregnancy to be ready for the challenges of labor.

• Arrange to have continuous labor support from someone with experience, like a doula, who can help with comfort and good labor progress.

• Get extra rest if possible at the end of pregnancy to prepare for the challenges of labor. • Don’t have an induction of labor unless there is a medical reason.

• If you plan a hospital birth, work with your care provider to wait until labor is well underway (active labor) to go to the hospital.

• In labor, stay upright and move about (best achieved with drug-free pain relief) and ask to have your baby’s heartbeat monitored with handheld devices.

• If you had a past cesarean, choose a care provider and birth setting supportive of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and decide together what is right for you this time.

• If your baby is in a buttocks- or feet-first position (breech) near the end of your pregnancy, ask your doctor or midwife about turning the baby to a head-first position (external version).

Now that you have additional facts on C-sections… do you still think it’s not giving birth? Clearly, I believe it’s a ridiculous debate and truly think there are better things we can focus on,

Where are my Cesarean Warriors? Where you given an option? What are your thoughts? Let Brooklyn Cocoa Mommy know what you think. Leave you thoughts in the comments or leave a message on FaceBook or Instagram.

Here’s to Cesarean Awareness Month! Kudos to All Mothers who are just trying to survive motherhood whether or not they had a C-section! Momma you are enough and your child needs a happy mom and that is all!

📚Here are additional resources regarding Cesareans and Child Birthing options:

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3 COMMENTS

  • Jessica Smith

    Please continue to advocate for all mommies! I, too, dislike mom shaming and don’t allow it in conversations that I engage in. You are a superhero to have experience all of that with both of your pregnancies. All while breastfeeding! Great post!

    • Letitia H
      AUTHOR

      Thank you. I really want to be an advocate for ALL. We aren’t one size fit all so why should motherhood… I hope this platform gets the conversation going that it’s ok to parent differently.

  • Corina

    as always great informative read! I did not realize c section shaming was a thing ftm here. But I was more so concerned with my baby to be healthy and safe then whether it was vaginal or not

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