This month is Cesarean Awareness month which has been hitting some triggers for me personally because I had an emergency cesarean section with my son last year. After my cesarean I went through a lot of postpartum depression and anxiety, feeling as if I failed my son and myself. However, this month I have been reading a lot of articles about cesarean births, meeting some amazing moms-to-be in my classes and just reflecting.
What irritates me with cesarean births is that we, as a society are not using language that empowers families who end up (or choose to) have this type of birth. I have had friends and clients who I have invited to come do prenatal yoga with me, and then have been told by them that because they aren't delivering vaginally they aren't sure prenatal yoga is the correct fit for them. All parents have the right to child birth education support no matter how you are delivering your baby. You deserve self care , support and education, birth is birth. To lead people to believe that anything prenatal "isn't for them" because baby will be birthed via cesarean is a shame. Another for instance, is moms coming back to yoga within the first ten-weeks postpartum after a cesarean trying to get back on the mat. This is much too soon and can do more harm for the body than good. If moms with cesareans want to come to do light movement, meditate and connect with other moms because they are feeling anxiety and depression I welcome their warm hearts with open arms. It does worry me when society has lead them to think it’s important to get back to "normal" (this is honestly true for cesareans and vaginal births).
I am not saying I am pro cesarean over vaginal birth; I am in fact pro-education, pro-support, and pro-choice; I am pro-empowerment for women.
The Canadian Institute for Health released that in Canada, more than 366,000 hospitalizations were due to childbirth in 2016–2017.
That means 28.2 per cent of births were performed by c-section, where the World Health Organization would say less than 15% would be ideal.
Some situations need cesarean sections including but not limited too; mom having a medical condition, placenta previa (placenta covering the cervix), transverse lie (baby lying sideways), problem with the placenta such as it removing itself from the wall of the mother too soon and footling breech (one or two feet coming into the vagina before the buttock).
Cesarean Sections have many other follow up concerns such as Post Trumatic Stress Disorder
Cesarean sections are a medical procedure and a major abdominal surgery, where an incision is made into the woman's abdomen and cervix. This involves cutting through and moving muscles.
This is all amazing to me, and empowering as a female.
First of all, how AMAZING is our health care that women can go through a major surgery to prevent loss of baby and the mother. That our bodies are so resilient and adaptable that we can get through this major abdominal surgery and care deeply for a new life. That we have a multidisciplinary team to do exactly what they need to do when they need to do it to ensure life and safety. My husband told me after our birth that it was incredible watching all of the nurses and doctors do what they knew, and were highly trained to do, so we could get my son out as soon as possible. There was stress on his heart, because we had an occult cord presentation, meaning that his cord was coming before his head. This could have ended up with the placenta detaching from my uterine wall causing him to loose oxygen and myself to hemorrhage. This would have gone much, much differently circa 1918. To date, I am feeling much better and after mental health support and physiotherapy including a massage for my scar I feel able to be in my own body again.
My cesarean was an emergency. People always ask me "will you do a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)" and my answer is when I am pregnant I will know. And I REFUSED to be pillaged of my empowerment because I don't know what my body will need when and if I get pregnant again. This is going back to my clients who have planned cesarean. Personally, I believe that a vaginal birth is best for baby and myself. It is literally what my body was constructed to do. Mother Nature does amazing things to a pregnant woman's body such as releasing a hormone which literally relaxes the cervix to dilate and prepares the uterus for the action of Oxycontin during labour. Our bodies mold to accommodate babies 40+ weeks of rent, and then puts us back together! The Universe moves baby as best it can naturally to deliver baby. A woman's cervix dilates as large a babies head to bring baby to Earth side. However, sometimes things are required by modern medicine to support this birth. Does it make it not a birth?
Absolutely not! It is the delivery of a pure soul from womb to Earth side.
There are ways to decline the need of medical intervention including some notes added in this Maternity Care Report put out by ASAC.
As mentioned earlier empowering yourself with options and knowledge through midwives, OBGYN's, doulas, birth educators and prenatal yoga can help so much. Having a doula and/or midwife by your side can reduce the intervention. For example a doula is a birth coach. Like many other coaches such as an athletic coach or a financial coach, doulas inform families and educate them before the "event" (in this instance birth) and then be there with you cheering you on and supporting your needs . They tell families all the facts before something is done so they can make the correct choice for their family. While I did have a cesarean section, I am so very thankful my doula, Vanessa was there with my husband and I before and after the birth.
As long as you were:
** Educated **
** Empowered **
** Heard **
** Cared for **
YOUR BIRTH WAS PERFECT!
Scars and all.
Please Note: if you have trauma behind your surgery, please be patient, be kind to yourself, take your time to heal, and seek support. I have resources on my website for various support teams.
Love & Light from my inner child to yours xxo