There are a variety of situations and circumstances that can result in a mother having her baby delivered via Cesarean section (C-section). Unfortunately, most people who have not gone through the process or had a close loved one go through the process tend to have misconceptions about it. As a result, many simple statements may be made toward a C-section mom that are incredibly insensitive. Therefore, we have compiled a brief list of things not to say to a C-section mom.
Questioning the Necessity
While it is true that the human body is equipped with everything needed to produce and birth a baby, there are also plenty of things that can go wrong during the process. There is nothing productive about making statements such as “I would never consent to a C-section” or asking questions like, “are you sure you needed it?” As a friend or loved one of a C-section mom, it is not your place to interject your beliefs into their birth story. Furthermore, questioning the necessity of a procedure without having any formal medical training or any of the data that led to the decision is not only irresponsible but arrogant.
Invalidating the Experience of the C-Section Mom
Another major misconception surrounding delivery by cesarean section is that these moms don’t have to experience labor. Before making a statement such as, “At least you didn’t have to go through labor.” consider this, according to the American Pregnancy Association, nearly a third of all C-sections are a due to failing to progress. So it is likely that the person that you are making that statement to spent a longer period in labor than you did. It’s also not uncommon for a C-section mom to be told that she “missed out” because what she experienced was “not really birth.” While the experiences of Cesarean section and vaginal birth are different, bringing a life into the world is a sacred thing no matter the process by which it happens.
Insinuating it is Easier than Vaginal Birth
Perhaps one of the most upsetting statements you can make toward a C-section mom is to imply that their experience was somehow easier than having a vaginal birth. Make no mistake that a Cesarean section is a major surgery and that there is nothing “easy” about it. Due to the nature of the incision and the degree to which your body must heal, it is not uncommon to have significantly longer recovery time following a C-section. Additionally, the damage done to your core muscles often means that you are unable to move without serious assistance until your wounds have healed sufficiently.