April is International Cesarean Awareness Month! The definition of a cesarean or a C-section is the surgical procedure by which one ore more babies are delivered through an inclusion in the the mother’s abdomen. Nearly one in three babies in the United States are delivered via cesarean. Sadly, some mothers are made to feel ashamed for how their child entered into this world, especially with medicinal or surgical intervention. But birth itself is truly remarkable. I believe it is truly beautiful that mothers get this precious opportunity to bring another life Earth side. As a mom who has had cesareans, I feel it is important to raise awareness and educate other people about the procedure. Here are five truths about having cesareans.
1. You are going to have a scar
I applied all the cocoa butter and Bio Oil to help with stretch marks during my pregnancy. I wanted to avoid having marks on my body. But after my cesarian, the dressing was removed and the incision was healing, and I had to mentally acknowledge that I will always have a scar regardless of how much cream or oil I would apply. It certainly is a constant reminder of how strong and beautiful our bodies are.
2. You might experience the cesarian
You may be awake during the procedure and still have sensations. Although I was mostly numb from the neck down, I could still feel the tugging and pulling on my stomach. You’ll likely hear the sounds of doctors and nurses doing their jobs to safely deliver your baby. Relax as much as you can!
3. You will need help during the recovery process
Once you are cleared to walk in the hospital, it can be really hard. Your body has gone through a major procedure! Fortunately my husband was with me and encouraged to keep moving. I do, however, recall pushing myself too much at home after our first child was born. Trying to do normal everyday things like cooking and housework was too much for my body. I had to remind myself to slow down and ask for help. It is totally okay to rely on others while your body is healing.
4. There are risks
As with any surgery and pregnancy, there are risks involved. I was in labor for more than 24 hours with our first born and developed a fever. At that point, I was a candidate for a C-section. After our daughter was born, she needed an antibiotic with an extended hospital stay. Thankfully, that was it and we were cleared to go home after a week. However, others may be in risk of infections, blood loss, reactions to anesthesia, blood clots or a surgical injury. Nothing is guaranteed in the process of labor and delivery, so please research your hospital and doctors so you feel the most confident with your birth planning and desires.
5. You do not have to have another C-section after your first
Just because you had one c-section does not mean you always have to have babies that way. Many women go on to have successful vaginal births after c-section. For me, we did wish to do another cesarean after our first for peace of mind. We could schedule a date and time which was helpful, but, our son decided to surprise us and arrive 11 days early.
Let’s celebrate healthy births however they may come about. We are here to support you no matter what your delivery and birth plan is!