Sometimes, the decision to choose between having a vaginal delivery or a Cesarean section (c-section) does not come easy. Most moms don’t choose to have a c-section out of convenience. On the contrary, a Cesarean section is a lifesaving procedure that have assisted many families with complicated pregnancies quite successfully.
C-section deliveries are actually quite common — as common as one in every three pregnancies in the US alone — but many are still uninformed about it. As a result, it’s not rare for moms who have had c-sections to hear misconceptions and misinformed statements… some of which can be offensive.
So how do you avoid offending a c-section mom? What are the things that you should not (make that never) say to a mom who has had a Cesarean section?
8. “You’re so lucky you missed the labor pains!”
Wow, this would have been awesome… if only all Cesarean section deliveries were elected. But there are a lot of emergency c-section births, which often means that the parents initially opted for a vaginal delivery but due to complications, the mom has to undergo an emergency procedure. These emergency c-section procedures are part of the reason behind the decreasing rate of infant mortality.
7. “It must be miserable not being able to give birth naturally.”
We ought to be thankful for scientific and medical breakthroughs for giving pregnant women everywhere the option to go through either a vaginal birth or a c-section birth! Even if you were planning to give birth vaginally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing the latter option, especially if it means saving your or your baby’s life.
6. “You should have exercised, or you should have watched what you ate.”
While it is true that a pregnant woman’s diet and physical activity matter a lot in making her labor experience better, there are still many factors to consider. The position of the baby, for instance, can make vaginal delivery harder. Then there are other complications like cord coils and decreasing heart rate. A c-section delivery does not equate to bad choices!
5. “Do you feel like you missed out on a true birthing experience?”
The short answer to this question is this: there is no true or false birthing experience. Any woman who has given birth to a child has had a real birthing experience! Also, a mom who has undergone Cesarean section experiences the same prenatal and postnatal experiences, so where exactly is the difference?
4. “What are you planning to do with your scar?”
Any mom — whether she has given birth vaginally or through a c-section — has more important things on her mind that silly things like stretch marks, flabs, and, yes, c-section scars.
3. “I hope your baby turns out alright.”
If there’s a statement that is running to win the most insensitive statement award, it just might be this one. Cesarean deliveries are generally safe and, in general, are not the cause of any health or developmental disorders. So don’t make alarming statements like this especially if they are founded on myths and misconceptions.
2. “I hope you don’t experience postpartum depression.”
Again, any mom, no matter what kind of delivery she has gone through, are at risk for developing baby blues or postpartum depression. Rather than put the blame on the mom, the best thing to do is make sure she gets the right support and guidance.
1. “I can never go through something like that!”
In most cases, a c-section delivery is not a decision that was made willy-nilly. It is a decision that the parents have probably talked about countless of times, until a compromise that benefits both the mother and the baby has been reached. So avoid making statements like this one that trivializes what must have been a heavy decision.
Pregnancy and birthing are happy occasions, but they can also be delicate and fragile topics that should be navigated with care and tact. Avoid saying these statements to a mom who has undergone a c-section delivery and, instead, offer genuine support and understanding.