As a doula I always work to help my moms avoid having an unnecessary cesarean birth. That still leaves necessary cesarean births though. If you have had a cesarean birth, at some point you need to incorporate this into your life. It doesn’t happen all at once. Here are some pointers to help you:
1. Call it a cesarean birth. You gave birth with obstetrical assistance. Believe me, they couldn’t have done it without you!
2. Try to evaluate the medical necessity of your birth. Give it a scale of 1-10. Ask your caregiver for assistance. Then look at was it a medical necessity for your baby, for you or a combination of the two (such as CPD cephalo-pelvic distocia = baby didn’t fit).
3. Evaluate the cultural necessity of your birth. Most women give birth where they live. Most do not fly off somewhere to a more congenial place to give birth. Therefore, the birth culture of where you are living will make a difference. Ina May Gaskin has claimed a cesarean rate of 2% in her community on the farm. Pittsburgh’s is closer to 30%, but most Pittsburgh mothers can’t go to Ina May’s farm to give birth. After you evaluate the cultural necessity, give it a scale of 1-10.
4. Define the moment you realized you needed to have a cesarean. Call it your cesarean moment. Then learn to accept it. Use can use artwork. Nursing your baby also helps.
5. Try thinking of your cesarean birth as part of your gift of mothering. We all give things to our children we never expect them to repay. Cesarean birth is one gift.
7. Write your birth story with you as the heroine. Give yourself credit!