9 things you should NEVER say to a mom who had a C-section
If you’re a mother who underwent a C-section and have been told “Oh, you’re so lucky!” you won’t be the first one…or the last. And this goes for that other party too — if you’re a woman who’s had a vaginal delivery, please refrain from making these 12 comments to a C-sec mommy.
1. “All that matters is you had a healthy baby.”
I’d guess this is the most-heard phrase by C-section moms. Yes, a healthy baby matters, and it matters a lot. Any mom who’s undergone an emergency C-section knows it likely saved her baby’s life. But if they found the experience traumatising, or if they feel robbed of what was supposed to be a life changing experience, those feelings matter too. So validate them.
2. “You can try for a natural birth next time.”
Please world, please doctors and midwives and nurses, can we start using the term “vaginal” birth? Because anything else suggests my children’s births were “unnatural.” And as someone who’s still dealing with the cold, clinical way in which her kids were born, this term just adds insult to injury.
3. “So you didn’t actually give birth, technically, huh?”
A couple of my mom-friends have heard this comment. I’m so glad it was never said to me, because I would have flipped every table around me before making a snarky remark about having hatched my children from an egg. Giving birth is the act of bringing forth life, regardless of how it happened. So don’t take that experience away from C-section moms. Don’t diminish that success.
4. “You’re so lucky you didn’t have to go through labour.”
Many women have a C-section because they laboured pretty much forever. Don’t make assumptions.
5. “At least your vagina didn’t get annihilated.”
I use the term “annihilated” because someone once described her episiotomy in those terms. The thing is, yes, my vagina is fine and dandy, thanks. But do you know what did get annihilated? My abdomen, which was sliced open, my guts pulled aside, and a child hauled out. So maybe we’re even. Or maybe it’s not a contest.
6. “You got a free tummy tuck.”
You know what a tummy tuck is, right? Think of the opposite of that thing, and that’s what I got.
7. “You had it easy.”
Puh-leeeease! If you think this, please go home and read up on what a C-section is actually all about. It’s major surgery, for which you are awake. Then you’re sent home as soon as 24 hours later with prescription painkil—whoops, that was a typo. You’re sent home with regular Tylenol…and a human baby to care for. Anyone else would be sent home with top shelf pain meds and strict instructions not to move for a week. So, yeah, not easy.
8. “Can I see your scar?”
No. That’s a show none of us want to give. Do you know how far down they make the incision? Just… no.
9. “At least you won’t spend the rest of your life peeing your pants when you laugh.”
So, I learned this fun fact from my chiropractor: A weakened pelvic floor can happen to anyone who’s been pregnant, no matter how they gave birth. So peeing our pants is something we all have to look forward to.
I know people usually mean well, and most are simply misinformed, but so many things people say to C-section moms only add guilt, sadness, anger and fear to an experience that may already have been traumatising and sad.
The most thoughtful thing you can do is simply to ask them how they and the baby are doing. Let them decide how much they want to divulge. And if they express any kind of sadness, avoid positive spin to lighten the mood. Let them be sad and try to understand.
C-section moms want to know they made the right decision, that they are no less of a mother than anyone else, and that what they did took bravery. Because it did—take my word for it.
From: Todays Parent