TV presenter Bec Judd wants to make it very clear that we need to stop shaming new mums for their chosen delivery methods, be it championing natural births, or shaming those who opt for elective c-sections.
In the latest episode of Mamamia podcast Hello Bump, the 34-year-old mother-of-four said she worries that “women who get caesareans get an unfair hard time”.
“I hear my girlfriends that have caesareans, they have to explain themselves. It’s like ‘I had a caesarean I took the easy way out’,” she said.
Passionately dispelling this myth, Judd spoke of her own difficult c-section she underwent for her high-risk twins Tom and Darcy last year.
“Because of society’s view for ceasareans, I thought this was going to be easier then my natural delivery, and it was harder,” Bec said.
“I’m so happy that I could have had my emergency caesar, because it was absolutely the safest, quickest, most healthy way I was going to get those twins out.”
LISTEN: Bec Judd, Monique Bowley, and Midwife Cath talk “caesarean shaming”. Post continues after audio.
Midwife Cath agreed that the stigma against elective c-sections needs to end, speaking about women with “pathological fears of vaginal birth” (yes, it’s a real condition).
She said that while most women who want to have a c-section at the beginning will change their mind towards the end of the pregnancy, and attend birthing classes, for some, that fear still remains.
“You get to the end and some people are just like ‘no I absolutely can’t do it, I can’t do vaginal birth’. And that’s okay,” Cath said.
“[Through a c-section] we end up having a happy mother who feels content, and in control of the situation, and we’ve listened to her which is so important.”
In terms of recovery, Cath said that “it’s still major abdominal surgery.” It’s only by day six or seven after the prodecure that you’re feeling pretty good.
Bec described the difference between recovering from a c-section and a natural birth is the feeling of either your “wound busting open” or your “vagina busting open”. Both… equally unpleasant, equally painful.
As Cath pointed out, “a lot of lives years and centuries ago could have been saved if we could have done caesars, both mothers and babies.” Yet with these advancements in medicine, we still approach c-sections in an old-fashioned way.
Perhaps Bec puts it the best when she explained: After everything that happens in the birthing suite, be it in the delivery room, or on the operating table, it doesn’t matter how you have your baby, a healthy baby is a healthy baby.
LISTEN: The full episode of Hello Bump: The Pointy End #2 Birth Stories.