Now that I’ve entered the club of motherhood, I’ve noticed a lot of women feeling judged (by others and themselves) because they birthed their baby via c-section. Research also shows that dissatisfaction with your child’s birth is linked to postpartum depression, so I felt compelled to address the issue of women feeling as if they had failed by having a child surgically.
“I do feel like there are a lot of pressures in my community and nationally that make people feel like their birth is less worthy if they have to choose a c-section, like they’re less of a mother and they didn’t try hard enough,” Dr. Kyle told me. “I even feel those pressures because I aim for a vaginal birth in my practice and that’s what I’m known for. The goal for my patients is to get a vaginal birth, and that was the plan for myself, too.”
Yet childbirth is unpredictable, and many of the things we script out—delivering vaginally, opting for a home birth, going med-free—change.
(A quick aside: Childbirth can be traumatic. It’s important to recognize that many women have a difficult time, and that a bouncing bairn is not the only legitimate concern. Validating mothers’ conflicted feelings around childbirth and their birth story shows them that they’re valued, too—that their worth is not limited to bringing a child into the world at any cost.)
Kyle shared with me a few tips on how she kicked the disappointment of delivering via cesarean and came to love her birth story.
Did you feel disappointed in how your child’s birth went? (No judgment here.) How did you come to terms with it?