If you’re a woman who’s ever had a C-section, you know how challenging of a process it can be. In addition to being traumatic for many women who have had to suffer emergency procedures to deliver their babies, at the cost of their own lives. If you’re a woman who hasn’t had to endure one, this is not to speak against anyone. However, we all know that giving birth is such a precious and precarious process which puts both mother and child between life and death.
It’s also the reason why I’m utterly amazed at some of the words and slights spoken at any woman who’s had a C-section. Having gone through the C-section experience myself, I have been at the end of many of these. From some women questioning the legitimacy of my womanhood, to inappropriate questions about how I gave birth, I’ve heard it all…Interestingly enough, I never addressed these directly, for the simple reason that I didn’t know how to. I know I’m not the only one either…
So many women are suffering silently under the false stigma surrounding C-sections, especially in certain cultures. There is this untrue image that giving birth naturally represents some sort of badge of honor. The only badge of honor is from God and represents the gift of life. Which also means that it’s not exactly up to us to determine anyone’s worth based on our opinion of who they are, what they do, or anything really…
While many comments come from a place of misinformation and miseducation, they are still damaging. From my own and so many other women’s experiences, here are 10 things NEVER to say to a woman who’s had a C-section:
So, is that giving birth, technically?
FYI: Giving birth is the process of bringing forth life. This means that regardless of the delivery experience, the act of carrying life IS giving birth. Even if it doesn’t come from a bad place, refrain from taking any of this experience away from a mom who’s had a C-section. Period.
You’ll never experience giving birth naturally
I remember standing in absolute shock as this woman said these exact words to me. Although I thought I was mentally prepared and had heard just about anything about C-sections, this took me by absolute surprise.
Make no mistake, such a statement, or anything close to it, is not only of bad taste, but it is incredibly cruel. However, it only reveals ignorance and an extreme lack of compassion. Don’t be that person.
It must be so easy to give birth by C-section
FYI: C-sections are major surgeries, for which women undergoing it are awake. Then these same women get sent home a couple of days after being cut open, with some medication and a new human life to care for! Think about it, most people undergoing major surgery are sent home with prescription painkillers and ordered to rest!
Add to it the struggle to care for your surgery wound, to use the bathroom, or to simply walk around! We may need to reframe the definition of “easy”, huh?
You’re so lucky to have given birth by C-section
Many, if not most, women undergo C-sections after extensive labor, and in order to save their child’s life. These are women who suffer through BOTH labor, surgery and the trauma of fearing for theirs and their child’s health. Don’t assume that social media images of wealthy women opting for C-sections is what happens to everyone. And don’t downplay the trauma affecting so many women!
You can try again next time to do it naturally!
The process of life and being born is a NATURAL process! What you may mean by “natural” is “vaginal birth”. In which case this statement may have to be rephrased.
At least, you’re intact down there
Getting cut open while a child is being taken out of you doesn’t exactly fall under the “intact” category. Or maybe there’s no need to compare. At all.
At least, the baby’s healthy
Yes, and that is why many women undergo C-sections. However, that woman standing in front of you also has worth and feelings too. Acknowledge her process as well, because every time a child is born, a mother is being born as well.
You don’t have to pee yourself, at least
FYI: Having a weakened pelvic floor is not correlated to how you give birth. As a matter of fact, it can happen to any woman for the simple fact of being pregnant. So eventually, we may all end up sharing those Depends diapers.
That’s too bad.
Giving birth (refer to point #1) is a miracle, and an absolute joy, regardless of how it happened! So please don’t dampen this whole magical experience. Everyone’s healthy, it’s a happy time!
Don’t worry, the statistics about C-sections are (insert statistics)
When you meet someone who reduces your entire experience to a bunch of statistics, albeit accurate. And you just want to tell them to be happy with you, let it go, and leave the Birth Encyclopedia alone…
Here’s to all the brave mothers, biological or by heart, who devote their lives to nurturing others! You are worthy, you are enough, you are loved!
The Corporate Sis