Is birth by Caesarean ‘unnatural’?

Is birth by Caesarean ‘unnatural’?
Is birth by Caesarean ‘unnatural’?

For some women, the word ‘Caesarean’ carries a huge sense of failure. For others, it’s a welcome solution to the alternative: hours of pushing while wondering how the heck a baby will fit through ‘there’.

After months of being an incubator, the inevitable arrives: birth preparations. Other moms will start to ask how you’re going to deliver. ‘Will it be natural birth?’ they’ll say, as if testing you.

If you’ve had your heart set on natural birth, and women have applauded you for it as if it makes you stronger and more matronly, being told that you have to have a Caesar leaves you with mixed emotions: Will an op detract from the birth experience? Is it less womanly to have your baby plucked out through an incision?

Learn more about birth here

Natural birthers are very different from those who choose elective Caesareans. Women who choose the day on which their baby will be welcomed into the world are often looked down on, too. They are treated as though their decision is purely cosmetic, as if the new arrival’s birthday is a matter of convenience for the mom.

Some medical insurance plans won’t cover an elective Caesar.

Never mind that an elective Caesar may be done to reduce other risks during the birth process, and that the mother and baby will have great doctors around to help out, it does carry a stigma. If vaginal birth is described as natural, then that almost implies that a Caesar is unnatural.

Read more: Right to Birth Movement launches in Cape Town

Emergency Caesars are hard to adapt to: A few minutes before, you were looking forward to putting all those birthing classes into practice, when, shockingly; the birth is taken out of your hands. Not only that, but you’ll be facing a longer recovery, and worrying that the scar won’t heal, or that it will limit your ability to care for your baby.

Another anxiety could be the added burden to your finances for the costs of surgery, as well as whether or not you’ll be able to have a natural birth with a second child after having had a Caesar.

It’s a good idea to discuss all of the possibilities with your doctor beforehand. If you’re a sworn natural birther, he can tell you the hows and whys of a Caesar, just in case.

In the same way, a mom who has opted for an elective Caesar should know what to do if she starts to go into labour before her date.

Perhaps there isn’t a ‘better’ way of becoming a mom, just different means to the same end.

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