6 Things Not to Say to a Mom Who Has a C-Section

babyThe other day I was sitting with two new friends, and the topic of our children's birth stories came up. They talked about their water breaking, natural births, and a host of things I never experienced since I had two c-sections.

It's been 4 1/2 years since my youngest daughter was born, and I was surprised how emotional I still became thinking of all I missed. I had no choice, as my son was delivered by emergency c-section at 27 weeks when I developed severe preeclampsia. Neither of us would probably be alive had I not had a c-section. When it came to my daughter, doctors didn't seem to think a VBAC was a viable option for me. So I know that I did what was necessary, but it doesn't mean it's not still a sensitive subject, especially with all the anti-Cesarean sentiment in this country.

More from The Stir: 10 Things NOT to Say to a New Mom

I know there are reports about celebrities electing for c-sections because they're "too posh to push" and other unnecessary c-sections, but for the most part, I don't think any mom ever really wants a c-section. So when people say certain things to those of us that have them, it can hurt. Here are six things no one should say to a mom who had a c-section.

1. "You took the easy way out."

There's no easy way out when it comes to birth, and the recovery from a c-section can be brutal. Also, many of us had no choice and would have given anything to prevent a c-section if we could have.

2. "Are you sure you needed a c-section?"

While it's true there are too many unnecessary c-sections performed in this country, there's no use bringing it up after the fact. What's done is done, and while we may have regrets and remorse about what happened, bringing it up can be painful.

C Section Moms3. "Don't you regret not experiencing birth?"

First of all, we did experience birth, just in a different way. And yes, we probably do feel like we missed out on something, but you bringing it up doesn't help.

4. "I could never have a c-section, I believe in natural birth."

Many c-section moms also believe natural birth is best, but for whatever reason, we couldn't have one. No matter how solid one's birth plan, there are no guarantees.

5. "Maybe you wouldn't have needed one if you hadn't had an epidural/used a midwife/stood on your head, etc."

Some of us have regrets about decisions we made, but you bringing up woulda, shoulda, coulda does not help. And for many of us, nothing we did would have changed things.

6. "I'm sorry."

While we may feel sadness about the way our birth story played out, we need understanding, not condolences. Regardless of how our babies entered the world, they are here, and we love them just the same.

Did you have a c-section? What hurtful things have people said to you?


Image via Nyaya Health/Flickr



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femal... femaleMIKE

The internet has made us all experts.

femal... femaleMIKE

I am due in 1 week with my first and I have no idea how this will go.   So far he is in the right position to come naturally.  We shall see when the time comes.

Irela... Ireland69

I don't care what anybody says to me. I had both first C-sec and the second natural. It's nobody's business what i went thru you want to share fine.

Paws84 Paws84

I most definitely wanted a c-section and searched around for an OB that was willing to do an elective. He agreed mainly because I'm pretty healthy, not overweight, no health issues. Ppl can say whatever they want, I have absolutely no regrets and would definitely do it all over again the exact same. That was 7 months ago, and baby and I are both healthy. Ppl think that just because you have an elective c-section, you're going to be this horrible mother and starve your child or they'll have health issues down the road. I gave up my full-time job to be a SAHM and love spending every minute with her. I don't feel I 'missed out' on a single thing. Oh, and before someone goes off on me saying something stupid like, 'omg!! Your baby must've been born before 30 weeks because it was elective!!' No, my OB was quite stern in saying he wouldn't do it before 39 weeks. I was 39.3 weeks. Both my husband and I are in the medical field, and knew baby and I would be just fine. It's nobody's business how your child was born.

nonmember avatar kmg

I am going to start training to become a doula and am a huge proponent of women educating themselves about labor/birth and their options. I agree with you that many of the cesearans performed currently aren't necessary, but after the fact, there's not much you can do about it. I encourage my friends to understand their options and do what they can to avoid one, solely because it IS a major surgery and recovery and complications can be so much worse.
With that said though, every birth deserves to be celebrated. Cecereans aren't ideal, but we do have them for a reason (your Pre-E at 27 weeks is one!). Heck, I almost had one because my daughter got horribly stuck and my membranes ruptured too soon, but my midwife was able to manipulate her to have her come vaginally.

No one should be judged for their birth. It's a very emotional time no matter what happens. No one is better than another.

As a doula, I will help educate my parents, but ultimately support them in whatever thier birth determines!

linzemae linzemae

I hated my c section. The recovery sucks. I wasn't able to really bond with my daughter until we got home. Granted she was in the nicu 3 floors below. It really sucked having her on a different floor especially after you have been sliced open and it takes you 20 minutes to walk to her. If we have another im definitely discussing vbac with my doctor.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

I love the judgemental looks and comments! Until I say "Well, if I had delievered vaginally it would have been a still-birth"...shuts 'em up REAL fast!!! I was 100% natural (although I was in a hospital in case there was an emergency...THANK GOD!)...and 23 hrs into labor they turned the monitors away from me and turned off the sound...and started prepping me (while I'm crying my eyes out because I am so anti-c-section) for the OR...I didn't find out until later that they didn't think he was going to make it even with a c-section because every time he tried to go into the canal he flat-lined...cord was tight around his neck! So screw anyone who has something to say-we ALLL have our reasons for having a c-section...and it's not easy by ANY means! (going to try for a VBAC next time...fingers crossed!)

nonmember avatar Kristi

No one has really said anything to me but I wouldn't get bent out of shape about any of these as I don't feel like I missed out on anything. I have had 3 c sections and they don't make me any less of a mom to my 3 awesome kiddos!

sassy... sassykat122

While i didn't have an elective c-section when the doctor told me i needed one i was so relieved. Major surgery or not i had no desire to push a canteloupe out my lady parts, didn't care if women had been doing it for centuries just had no desire to do it myself.

Rosas... RosasMummy

lots of people, particularly women who are really into all things natural/organic really suffer psychological trauma over their births because they didn't/did go a particular way so really making anything other than a neutral comment about anyone's birth experience is dumb and insensitive if you ask me.

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