12 Things C-Section Moms Are Tired Of Hearing

By
Share
Ad failed to load

There's no one way to talk about c-sections. Some women plan them out of preference, while others resort to them in disappointment. Some women are tremendously grateful for them, while others need therapy to help them process what happened. However, at the end of the day, 1/3 of American mothers will give birth via cesarean and there are things these c-section moms are tired of hearing.

Just as there is no one way to talk about c-sections, there's no one way to talk about how not to talk about them. Some women will be happy to go on about horrible medical practices that lead to unnecessary procedures. Others will want to skip over that conversation entirely. Some will want to talk about how awful it was. Others will want to tell you what an amazing and comfortable birth they had. The main take-away, therefore, is to enter any and all conversations about cesarean birth with zero presumptions. Let the woman who has actually had the experience talk about how it went for her and how she feels about it. Yes, even if you have also had a c-section. Be open to her story being just as true, real, and valid as yours, because it is.

Birth is extremely personal and, as such, people can take the things others say about it very personally. That's why, yes, what you say to a mom who has had a c-section (or any mom, in general) matters. So, with that in mind, it's probably safe to say that the following sentiments should be avoided.

Ad failed to load

"That's Horrible! You Poor Thing!"

giphy

This was probably the only really disappointing thing about my c-section birth: other people's negative reactions to it. Nearly across the board, whenever I let someone know I wound up having a c-section, I was met with pity or horror. I just wanted to say "No! Really! It was lovely and enjoyable and it's how my baby came into this world, so stop trying to make it out like it was sad!"

Even though the birth of my son was an unplanned, emergency c-section, it was a happy day. Having people respond to my excitement with an "Aw! That sucks!" really sort of drains some of the joy out of it. Of course c-sections can be awful (mine is not a universal experience) but they aren't universally negative, either. Let someone tell you what their c-section was like before you start projecting what you assume it was like onto them and, inevitably, ruin their awesome stories.

"The Only Thing That Matters Is That Everyone Is Healthy"

This is such an insidious phrase, because it's basically used to silence certain kinds of experiences. Ultimately, everyone agrees that everyone coming out of a birth experience alive trumps all other factors. However, that's a pretty low bar.

C-section births can be dramatic, traumatic, painful, and confusing; exploring those feelings can be crucial in healing from a painful experience. So, saying "the only thing that matters is that everyone is healthy" shuts down those discussions completely. If you continue to voice negative emotions after that you somehow sound ungrateful, short-sighted, not recognizing what's important, or selfish. That everyone made it out of the delivery room alive is the most important thing, but it's not the only important thing when it comes to giving birth.

"Well, At Least You Got To Take The Easy Way Out"

giphy

F*ck. You. You want to see the picture I took of my scar two days after birth? Let me save you the trouble because no you don't because it's horrifying. C-sections can be very painful (they aren't always, but the certainly can be). Recovery almost always takes considerably longer than it does for a vaginal delivery. Moreover, lots of women labor or even push before they have a c-section, so it's not like everyone who has a c-section is blissfully unaware of what labor is like.

Ad failed to load

"If You Have More Kids You Have To Have C-Sections"

Nope! While this was true back in the day, before transverse incisions were used to get babies out of Fort Uterus, nowadays vaginal birth after cesarean (VBACs) are considered preferable to repeat c-sections for most women. Unfortunately, a lot of OBs put stock in this debunked adage as well.

Don't believe me? Just ask my VBAC-born daughter! She's 2, but she'll do her best to answer your questions. It might help if you ask her via an Elmo hand puppet, as that's how I get her to do pretty much everything.

"So You Haven't REALLY Given Birth"

giphy

Ummm... a baby I had been baking for however many months exit my body. Please let me know what you would call that. (Spoilers: it's "give birth.")

"Your Doctor Must Have Pushed You Into It Because They Had Plans"

While doctors coercing patients into c-sections (and procedures that can lead to an increased chance of a c-section) absolutely happens, the idea that it's an across-the-board truism is ridiculous. It also sort of sets up the person who had the c-section to assume a victim status, which, as mentioned in my first point, puts a damper on sharing what was quite possibly a lovely experience.

Ad failed to load

"This Is Why It's So Important To Educate Yourself"

giphy

Ah yes. I wound up with a c-section because I'm ignorant and too lazy to educate myself. This is something that requires an assignation of blame and it's my fault. I'd walk over to talk some sense into your smug, condescending self, but I'm finding it difficult to navigate around this massive pile of books about pregnancy and childbirth I read before I had my kid. You lucked out, this time.

"You Didn't Try Hard Enough"

1) Um, I'm pretty sure I'm under no obligation to give birth based on your standards and specifications.

2) Seriously? Screw you, you sanctimonious weirdo.

"My Birth Was Just So Natural And Beautiful"

giphy

It's not a contest. No matter how hard anyone tries to make it one it just never will be. Look, I'm delighted you had a lovely experience but maybe, just maybe, when we're talking about my experience, we won't make it all about you. (Especially, for the love of Beyoncé Almighty, if I'm relating a negative experience: your waxing poetic about your Yoda-attended sea turtle birth is just lemon juice in a paper cut.)

Ad failed to load

"Did You Schedule It So You Could Go On Vacation Or Something?"

And if I did?

(Though I have known hundreds and hundreds of pregnant women and have never heard of anyone doing this. Who can even go on vacation with a newborn, particularly after abdominal surgery? Who would want to?)

"Is It Because You Didn't Want To Ruin Your Vag?"

giphy

For real, do you even know what a vagina is or how it works? Birth doesn't ruin your vagina. Sure, it can change and it might even tear, but on the whole it's basically going to be back to it's peppy, sporting self. Certainly 1/3 of women giving birth in the US are not choosing major surgery for the sake of their vaginas and 2/3 of American women who give birth aren't walking around with cavernous wastelands between their thighs.

"Too Posh To Push"

giphy

I would never wish ill on a person. (Well, most people.) However, words and phrases I have no trouble cursing from the depths of my soul. This phrase can seriously die in a fire. It's the worst. It's condescending, reductive, sexist, and all-around obnoxious and I want it to go away and never come back. Also, it's not even really a thing.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}