Five things not to say to a mum who had a c-section.

By: Nikki Pennington for The Snap Mom

I laid there in the hospital bed, just learning I would be having an emergency cesarean section. My first delivery was natural and I never anticipated things going any other way with my second pregnancy.

I was already crushed simply because I had invested so much time in preparing for my natural labour and delivery. I was just coming to terms with the fact that there was no other choice. I needed to do what was best for baby and myself. That’s when a loving family member walked in and said “Oh this is just awful. I was praying you would not have to get a c-section. Nobody wants a c-section.” The flood gates broke and I sobbed uncontrollably.

Was I a bad mum for having to get a c-section? Was I less of a mother because of how my baby was being delivered? It was the worst thing that could have been said to me at that very vulnerable moment. Trust me, there are plenty more things I heard over the following days and months. Let me spare you the foot-in-mouth moment and share with you what not to say to a c-section mum.

1. “At least you won’t have to go through labour.”

Actually, this is wrong. With my second pregnancy that ended in an emergency c-section, we were unaware it would be needed. My baby flipped last minute turning breech. I laboured for hours the entire day before, all through the night and the next day until I went into the hospital. With my third child, a scheduled c-section, I went into labour early the day before and waited it out at the hospital until the following morning for surgery. I was very dilated and refused an epidural because I knew more medication was to come during surgery. Trust me, I have laboured with each.

2. “I’m having a hard time deciding who I want in the delivery room with me.”

That must be a very nice problem to have. C-section mums do not get to pick and choose who comes in the surgery room with us. We get one person and for most we can’t record or take pictures until after baby is in recovery area with us. We don’t get to have someone in there taking pictures at most hospitals, or have loving family members cheering us on. I remember crying over the time I wanted my husband and my best friend with me only to find out it wasn’t allowed in the operating room.


3. “The baby is basically pulled out of you, no work.”

I’ve been told “You don’t have to do any pushing or anything, they just take that baby right out for a c-section.” Nope, no pushing, I’m just laying there fully awake while I am being worked on. Just having a major surgery, no big deal.

4. "It’s only a small cut."

I always found this one interesting. It’s a small cut that hurts and aches and stays numb for a very long time. It builds scar tissue that causes pain at random times. It’s a cut that I have to worry over and watch for weeks to make sure infection does not set in. Don’t get me wrong, I love my c-section scar, it reminds me that this body helped me carry a sweet baby no matter how they came into the world. It is a small scar, but there is so much more to it.

5. “At least you don’t bleed as long as a natural birth does.”

We in fact do bleed for as long, many weeks. We still had a surgery and we were still carrying a baby just the same way as others that had a natural birth, so our bodies still do about the same thing.

I’m not embarrassed about my c-sections. I’ve had a natural birth and I like being able to relate and share stories with both natural birth and c-section mums. Yet, being a c-section mum can be a sensitive topic sometimes, so let’s try to remember that the next time we share birth stories. C-section mums still have birth stories and experiences just like other mums.

What other c-section myths would you like to see busted?

This post was originally published on The Snap Mom