Emotional Responses To Cesarean Birth

The range of normal responses to cesarean continuously amazes me. I have heard women who really grieved when the birth wasn't how they imagined it was going to be-an anticipated rite of passage that went all wrong. Others feel relieved when a cesarean is recommended after a long and difficult labor. And some moms would choose cesarean birth if given the option. In general, it is easiest to adjust if you feel totally clear about why it was necessary, and if you had a part in the decision-making. Most difficult to accept are unscheduled c-sections in moms who never considered the possibility.

No matter how your baby comes out, this is still your baby's birthday, a date that will be with you for your lifetime, a day to celebrate. People around a new mother may not understand the feelings of loss brought on by cesarean, or by other disappointing aspects of the birth experience, especially when the baby is healthy. No one chooses to start parenthood with feeling deeply disappointed, but those emotions can be hard to shake. For some women, the birth experience is traumatic, and counseling necessary to come to terms with the events. Thinking ahead about the possibility of cesarean may help you cope, should cesarean become necessary. And if you had a cesarean and you are really struggling, get help.

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