Stigma Surrounding C-Sections: AKA What Not to Say

Quick disclaimer, this isn’t my usual sort of post but April is C-section Awareness Month and I’ve been wanting to write this for a while. So I figured it was the right time to do it.

There’s a huge stigma attached to having a caesarean section. I didn’t realise how bad this stigma was until I became a C-section mum. Now I’m not saying this happens all the time, in fact in the last two and half years, I’ve probably had about 10 incidents where someone has said something rude or hurtful to me for having C-sections and I’ll be honest that’s 10 too many in my book. Also out of these 10 incidents, only about 2 or 3 have been intentionally hurtful, all the rest have been people thinking it’s ok to say what they say when it’s not.

I’ve been told that I took the easy way out and that I’m lazy for having a C-section. Although my favourite one, is when I got told that I haven’t given birth properly. I mean, they are right, I didn’t consult the birthing manual for the correct procedure for giving birth . . . .

Oh, wait, there isn’t one.

Look, there is no right way or wrong way to give birth. Every birth is different, some are positive experiences and some are traumatic. There are others where the birth plan is followed right down to the final full stop and some where the birth plan gets thrown out of the window. My first was an emergency C-section, my second planned, both times I gave birth, so both times I gave birth properly.

Me and Sigi

I understand that alot of the stigma surrounding c-sections comes from a lack of knowledge about c-sections. I had slightly better understanding before I gave birth for the first time, due to friends having them before me. But even then, I still had no idea what goes into a c-section, especially post-op. There’s blood thinners and painkillers, you can’t get out of bed for at least 12 hours and you’re not allowed to drive or lift anything heavier than your newborn for several weeks afterwards. Also there’s an increased risk of infection and blood clots. People tend to think that c-sections are an easy way to give birth, there’s no easy way to give birth. Just because it wasn’t a vaginal birth doesn’t mean the birth of my kids should be diminished in anyway and that’s what happens every time I get told that I was lazy or I took the easy way out and it’s upsetting and disheartening and rude and I really don’t understand why anyone would say it but it happens and has happened to me on several occasions.

I guess the point of this post is that no one giving birth should have to feel like they have to justify their decision on how they give birth. When I was pregnant with Sigi, I ended up explaining why I was having a C-section multiple times and I could go into the reasons why I decided to but I’m not. I’m done talking about, justifying it, it was the right decision for her and for me. We’re both happy and healthy and that’s all that matters. Having a C-section doesn’t make you a bad mum or a lazy one, it’s just makes you a person who gave birth and that’s all that matters.

Jo xx

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