So what might a cesarean get you? More than a baby!

Having a cesarean section will likely get you a baby, but generally much more than you bargained for.

Let me count the ways in no particular order:

  • A scar that in no way makes a bikini look better. Sometimes described as a shelf or a pouch.
  • The feeling of failure, guilt or less than deserving of motherhood.
  • The struggle of living with the huge dichotomy of loving your baby and hating the birth.
  • Higher probability of losing your ability to have more children either through physiologic secondary infertility, pregnancy complications, self-induced secondary infertility, hysterectomy or lack of sexual intimacy in relationship.
  • Higher probability of difficulty in breastfeeding.
  • Postpartum depression or PTSD, especially in an unwanted cesarean.
  • The feeling of failure as a wife or partner.
  • Having others discount your feelings and needs. After all you “just” had a baby. Really you just had MAJOR surgery, perhaps by coercion, or completely from interventions and medications.
  • Living with the idea that you failed to pass induction, you failed to push out your baby, you failed because _________ (fill in the blank).
  • Obtaining your records to find what you were told and what was written are different. Could your trusted care provider have lied and cheated you?
  • Simply finding out that no one told you and you didn’t do the research, that being induced, getting the epidural, allowing AROM, not getting out of bed, etc. is why you had the cesarean. Is maternal ignorance and fear enough to quell what you feel and make it ok?
  • How can you trust yourself as a mother when you ignored your maternal intuition and kept saying yes, because the nurse, midwife or doctor told you to?
  • The way your marriage or partnership takes a turn toward hell.
  • Living with dread when a hungry hand sweeps over your scar. Being sexual can be extremely difficult physically and emotionally.

For all of these – there a stories layered and interwoven for too many women. Every thirty seconds a woman is surgically having her baby delivered. Light her a candle. Offer her a meal. Let her speak. Listen to her intently. Send her to ICAN.


  1. Anonymous on April 11, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Thank you so much for putting into words how I feel about my unwanted c-sections. Everything you wrote is very true. If more women could read your page, I think more could be spared the agony of going through an unwanted unneeded surgery.

  2. Frogs Mom on April 12, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Could you provide documentation for ‘physiologic secondary infertility’? Thanks.

  3. Desirre - Birthing Touch on April 13, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Secondary infertility can be caused by unknown/known post surgical infection causing tubal scarring or other scarring, the scar tissue from the cesarean itself, and a complication of cesarean is possible organ damage (fallopian tubes, overaries, uterus, bladder and/or ureters) – three off those can cause fertility issues. I hope this answers your question – if you would like study information, please let me know. Desirre

  4. Stanley Poulos on September 19, 2008 at 3:23 am

    Women are more likely than men to suffer from depression, especially during their reproductive years. Rates of depression are higher where stressful circumstances exist such as poverty, lack of education, sexual inequality, poor social support and in pregnancy. Single and adolescent pregnant women are especially at risk.