C-Births, C-Sections or Cesarean births are on the rise in America. Did you know that 1 in 3 American babies are born via cesarean birth? About 32% of all births were by cesarean in 2020 and 25% of them were considered a “low-risk” pregnancy that was carried to full term. There are so many reasons why a c-birth is the best option for the birth of your baby. Whether it is a planned c-birth, urgent c-birth or emergency c-section I truly believe that we can still have a peaceful, mindful and positive experience.
There is a common misconception or stigma around c-birth that it is the “easy way” out of childbirth and that is truly incorrect. Childbirth no matter the birth outcome is challenging and your body, mind and spirit will need time to heal. A mother is born and a baby is born no matter the means of entry. Birth is amazing, no matter how it happens. Remember that comparison is the thief of joy and that it isn’t just our decision on how our babies come into the world, but theirs. Motherhood is hard, childbirth is both beautiful AND challenging for ALL OF US in our own unique ways. I’ve heard mamas express their deepest discomfort and shame around their birth outcome being c-birth. Mama, know that if BOTH you and your baby are healthy after your birth that is truly what matters. BIRTH IS BIRTH.
If you are seriously struggling with processing your birth experience or planned c-birth I highly recommend speaking to a licensed therapist about it. Postpartum Support International is a great resource to use to find a care provider near you or call their hotline right now and speak to a volunteer mama, 1-800-944-4773.
Focus on what you can control
Women often feel like when they are told to plan their c-section that they have lost control of their birth. But, birth is really truly out of our control in my opinion. There are some things we can control though.
- Ask to prioritize delayed cord clamping, skin to skin time, breastfeeding being established right away and anything else you wish for those first moments with your baby.
- Ask if you’re allowed a birth photographer or if they can take a picture. Trust me, you will want it later!
- Play your own music in the room!
- Ask for the room to be silent when your baby is born so you can hear baby’s first cry
- Ask them if and when they can turn the lights down, that they do.
I recommend this to all pregnant mamas. You are on a need to know basis and you need to set some clear boundaries with people. Fear mongering and horror stories are not welcome but realness, education and empowering information is. It is one thing to be aware of what can go wrong so if it happens to you, you know how to seek help. And, it is another thing to listen to everyone’s emergency c-section horror stories. Protect your peace and create a little bubble around yourself and if you feel like someone is going to pop that peace bubble take extreme measures to guard your heart and spirit. Most people do not mean harm, a simple redirect or “I don’t want to hear about that.” should suffice. Another great tool if you have a partner, husband or doula on your care team is to have information filter through them and they can decide what you really need to know.
Day of your c-birth, tools that might help you maintain your peace bubble are hypnobirthing, breathwork, guided meditations and affirmations.
- Birth is amazing, no matter how it happens.
- My baby is coming to meet me at exactly the right time, in exactly the right way. I got this.
- No matter how a healthy baby comes into the world, it is a special delivery.
- I am strong, powerful and in control.
- I trust my care team.
- I trust my body.
- My mind is relaxed, my body is relaxed.
- I am prepared to meet whatever turn my birthing takes.
- She believed she could so she did
- I am strong and adaptable
- I am surrounded by love and support
- I can, It’s okay
- This mark on my body is a kiss from my baby
- My tattoo that reminds me of you
- This is the way we’ve been waiting for
- I get to meet my baby today/so soon/now.
- I get to hold you in my arms so soon.
- I am supported and held
- I am resilient and I can do this.
- I am calm. My baby is calm.
Self Care & Recovery
- Drink lots of water
- Keep your poo flowing
- Eat a healthy high fiber diet
- Colace and/or Magnesium
- Belly bands, abdominal binders
- Prioritize rest & ask for help
- Move at your own pace! Your recovery will look different.
- Avoid lifting and stairs
- Hire a physical therapist! Ask for a referral and start working with one right away if you’re having a planned c-birth or post operation.
This is a major abdominal surgery and you deserve support physically. A great place to start is to take Dr. Hannah Strom, DPT pelvic floor physical therapist and I’s e-course called Cesarean Birth Recovery where will walk you through your recovery journey and return to movement and exercise.