So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

April is Cesarean Awareness Month!

These days it seems like there is a dedicated awareness “day” or “month” for almost every topic under the sun, and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with it all.

Cesarean Awareness month is not just “one of those things” that we should brush off or not recognize.

The goal of this movement is, obviously, to raise awareness and educate people about cesareans—something that, in general, people know surprisingly low amounts of information about.

After delivering both my sons via c-section (despite two earnest attempts at vaginal deliveries) I have found that there seems to be a general lack of information surrounding an extremely important topic–prenatal care + birth. And more specifically, cesarean births.

With the US cesarean rate at a high 32%, expectant mothers should educate themselves on the process, risks, and recovery of a c-section.

Just because someone is planning a natural birth (like we did!) doesn’t mean she should skip over this topic in childbirth class. Had I known a little more about what to expect in the event of a c-section, I believe that would have been helpful in my personal recovery process.

At the end of the day, anyone could end up requiring a surgical birth, and mamas need to be prepared and equipped with the facts to help them make informed care decisions should it be relevant. (Especially if you are planning an induction, or have any other factors that could predispose you to a higher chance of requiring a c-section.)

Helpful Facts to Consider:

-Today, about 1 in 3 babies are delivered via c-section.

-The average cost of a c-section delivery is $12,728 compared to the average $7,278 vaginal delivery.

-Hospital recovery is 3-5 days for a c-section, compared to 1-2 days for the average vaginal delivery.

-At home recovery is 4-6 weeks for a c-section, compared to an average 2 week “to resume normal activities” after vaginal birth.

-A c-section is a major surgery that poses more risks than a vaginal delivery, including infection, severe bleeding and blood clots. Because of these risks, many doctors recommend vaginal births unless a c-section is medically necessary.

-Some reasons for a medically necessary cesarean include: placenta previa, placental abruption, uterine rupture, fetal breech position, cord prolapse, fetal distress, cephalopelvic disproportion, STD in mother, diabetes, preeclampsia, extremely high blood pressure, maternal heart condition, birth defects, and some multiple births.

-According to the World Health Organization, some of the above mentioned cases, a medically necessary cesarean can be life-saving for mother and/or baby.

-C-section mothers are advised not to lift anything heavier than their baby during the at-home recovery period.

-Mothers’ postpartum feelings on her cesarean can range widely. Some studies have shown that women who have unexpected surgical birth are more likely to experience grief, loss, and personal failure or are at an elevated risk for postpartum depression.

My personal goals in recognizing Cesarean Awareness Month are twofold:

1. To provide facts and information to help expectant mothers make informed decisions about their prenatal care and their birth. After all, is this not one of the most important decisions of a woman’s life?

In some situations, c-sections are medically necessary and are an amazing resource to preserve the lives of mother/baby. Praise the Lord for this! Knowing the facts will help a mother work with her care provider to decide if surgery is the right route for her.

In other situations, we have commonly seen that c-sections have been pushed on mothers in unnecessary circumstances, which can lead to difficult recoveries, increased risk for birth trauma, and a higher risk for postpartum depression. The latter is unfortunate, and can hopefully be amended in future by the provision of education and awareness on this issue.

2. To provide support for postpartum mothers who have for whatever reason undergone a c-section, as I understand first hand that it can be extremely difficult–and to encourage others to provide support as well.

So what can YOU do? What’s the “call to action” here?

Partners, families and support persons: educate yourselves, too! With the routine nature of c-sections, many times people struggle to understand and sympathize with the fact that these are MAJOR abdominal surgeries.

YES, c-sections are indeed the amazing birth of a child, just like a vaginal delivery. I wouldn’t dream of diminishing that fact. But they are also a major surgeries that carry emotional and undeniably intense physical recovery.

Statements like “C-sections are the ‘easy way out’” are simply untrue (and can be hurtful.) Avoiding participating in such rhetoric and educating others who may not understand is paramount.

If you are close to a mama who has given birth via c-section, do some simple research on what she may be going through, and remember to offer genuine support.

If you have only experienced vaginal births, or you were fortunate enough to experience a trauma-free/smooth c-section, or you just don’t understand the “big deal,” please remember not to downplay, invalidate, or disrespect the birth and postpartum experiences of other mothers. Each woman’s birth experience and the way she processes it is unique- let’s all support each other here.

Instead of saying to a new mother: So, what went wrong, If only you had, or I would have done; say: How are you feeling?, Would you rather me do dishes or fold some laundry?, I brought you coffee!, or You did amazing!

To borrow a quote from Monet Nicole Birthing Stories: “ Whenever someone tells me that they’ve had a cesarean birth, I know two things: they’re incredibly brave and incredibly strong.”

Such a powerful and true statement. No birth is easy. No matter what, labor and delivery are hard. And beautiful. It is important to recognize that fact, no matter how a woman gives birth.

So even though April is almost over, I encourage you to take this opportunity to learn and to share.

Works Cited:

www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db258

www.midkansasdoula.com 

healthfeed.uofuhealth.org

http://www.ican-online.org/faqs-about-cesareans/

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/161442/1/WHO_RHR_15.02_eng.pdf?ua=1

http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/reasons-for-a-cesarean/

http://www.vbac.com/cesarean-section-and-birth-trauma/

www.acog.org/Womens-Health/Vaginal-Birth-After-Cesarean-VBAC

Amber Dorsett

Amber is a Southern girl born and raised in Alabama. She is a wife and a stay-at-home-mom of 2 boys (16 months apart!). After completing her Master’s degree in Communication Studies, teaching public speaking, and pursuing a career at a non-profit ministry, she traded in her high heels for a life of endless diapers, nursing covers, and lots of yoga pants. She recently launched her blog to share her passions and hopefully encourage other moms. She hopes you’ll come join the open conversations about Jesus, natural living, real food, budgeting, birth, breastfeeding, and being an intentional mama.

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does

In: Health, Mental Health, Relationships
I Don't Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does www.herviewfromhome.com

I don’t have anxiety but my husband does.  We should have realized this years ago but we missed it. The realization came suddenly and as soon as it popped in my mind, it came out of my mouth. “You have anxiety.” I said. He looked at me trying to determine if I was joking or serious. “I am serious, you have anxiety.” His eyes left mine and found his phone. He picked it up and said, “Hey Siri, give me the definition of anxiety.” As the virtual assistant read off the definition she may as well have been reading my man’s personality...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

In: Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
To the Mom With the Anxious Soul www.herviewfromhome.com

I see you, mama. You’re the one sitting alone at the family party. You’re the one hovering a little too close to your sweet babies at the park. You’re the one standing in the bathroom at work for just a moment of quiet. Your thoughts are swirling constantly, faster and more fearful that a “regular” mama. You find yourself spaced out at times, and hyper aware at others. You’ve heard the words “just relax” and “everything is fine” more times than you care to count. Sometimes you wish you could make everyone understand why you are the way you are...

Keep Reading

I Know You’re Exhausted, Mama—But Experts Say You NEED That Momcation

In: Mental Health, Motherhood
I Know You're Exhausted, Mama—But Experts Say You NEED That Momcation www.herviewfromhome.com

I waved as our old blue truck rolled down the road away from where I stood, planted on the sidewalk alone. There I was staring down my first solo stay away from my husband and sons, and the only thought I could muster up was what on Earth was I thinking planning a weekend to myself in the city?  Would my kids be okay without me? More like, would I be OK without them? The answer to both questions was of course, yes, but in that moment I couldn’t help but have doubt because, well, you know—”time off” doesn’t exactly...

Keep Reading

A Morning in the Life of a Mom With Anxiety

In: Child, Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
A Morning in the Life of a Mom With Anxiety www.herviewfromhome.com

I wake up to the sound of my kids in the kitchen, the morning sun peeping through my window. I immediately cringe at the thought of having to parent today. And why? Because my anxiety and depression is so strong that I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I start thinking about all the things I need to get done, and then I remember that one child has baseball practice for two hours tonight. The other child won’t want to go and will pitch a fit. I roll over to get the sun out of my eyes....

Keep Reading

Our Daughter Hated School; We Finally Discovered Why (and How to Help)

In: Child, Mental Health, School
Our Daughter Hated School; We Finally Discovered Why (and How to Help) www.herviewfromhome.com

I wish we had clued in to our daughter’s generalized anxiety disorder a lot earlier then we did. It’s not for a lack of information available, it’s just that you don’t research it when you believe your child simply hates school. I mean our generation struggled with complicated friendships, PE class, and strict teachers too. Even our great-grandmothers had to survive the “mean girls”. So, our children will make it through, too, right? The problem is sometimes it’s more than just struggling to fit in; it’s a debilitating anxiety that leaves them feeling like they are treading in water over...

Keep Reading

What It Feels Like to Parent With Anxiety

In: Child, Mental Health, Motherhood
What It Feels Like to Parent With Anxiety www.herviewfromhome.com

When my second child was born he wasn’t crying. I immediately sat up in the hospital bed and asked the nurses what was wrong. “He’s fine. Everything’s fine.” But I knew they were lying. A mother knows, and my anxiety-ridden heart was in full-blown panic until I knew my boy was OK. He had swallowed some meconium and turned blue as he struggled to breathe. He had a rough start, but in the end he really was fine. My heart, however, was not. Having anxiety is hard. Having anxiety when you are a mom can be crippling. When you are a mom with...

Keep Reading

To the Husband Whose Wife Has Depression

In: Mental Health, Relationships
To the Husband Whose Wife Has Depression www.herviewfromhome.com

To the husband whose wife has depression,  First of all, it’s already a blessing to your wife that you have chosen her to spend the rest of your life, even eternity, with. Depression is never a battle you’d want to face alone. So having you as her companion, either standing next to her or carrying her in your arms and being that support to her (sometimes, even literally), is a gift she may not always be vocally appreciative of. But trust me, she is deeply and unequivocally grateful for it.  It’s no question that she has her “off” days when...

Keep Reading

Divorce is Not God’s Plan A

In: Faith, Mental Health, Relationships
Divorce is Not God's Plan A www.herviewfromhome.com

Divorce is not God’s Plan A. How can it be? It violently tears apart two people God himself knit together. It rips to shreds the hearts of those who once stared into each other’s eyes and said “I love you”; it makes meaningless the words and promises of lifelong love, commitment and “death alone can part us”. One day there is love. Then, something deeper and stronger takes hold of that love and crushes it until it is dead. For me, that “something” was mental illness. It stole my husband. It destroyed my marriage. He was attending seminary to become...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime