Reader Mail: CBB Reader Jennifer wants readers to be less judgmental of c-sections

04/10/2008 at 02:00 PM ET

080330giadababyhmed5phmediumYesterday we announced our new email box (just replace @ for the AT). It’s a way to ask us questions but you can also think of it as Letters to the Editor. Feel free to email us with your reactions to stories a la Op-Ed pieces. Here’s one such opinion letter we received this morning from CBB Reader Jennifer.

I visit your site daily and love it.

My only issue is the comments people write about C-Sections and breastfeeding. Particularly, Giada De Laurentiis‘ daughter’s birth and the debate that when on discussing her hair, make-up and C-Section. I find that people can be cruelly judgmental towards C-Sections when they don’t have the history of why someone has to undergo that procedure. It’s not always elective and to assume it is and pass judgment is wrong.

I had to have an emergency C-Section and have a beautiful healthy daughter. Giving life is what is precious and beautiful. It was nice of Giada to be open and provide the birth of Jade to the public and I was very disturbed on how the debate on why she had to have a C Section seemed to take prominence. That is a private matter. Everyone has their own experience and reason for doing things. Don’t judge celebrities or other people for that matter when you have not walked in their shoes.

Any statement that is negative is passing judgment in my opinion.


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Mandy on

I think that people are more critical of celebrity c-sections because it seems so many are done out of convenience. A normal woman probably wouldn’t be able to schedule a c-section without a medical reason, but celebrities have been known to do this. I think that this is not an attack on the everyday woman, but simply bringing to light the fact that some celebrities plan their c-sections like they are scheduling a hair appointment.

MaríaM2 on

Won’t go so far as to say that a post perceived as negative should always considered as a judgement. I think that yes, some need no further explanation. But then you have those that are simply about semantics; the wrong words were used to explain a position and the poster truly had no intention of putting something out there purposefully to judge. JMHO

aNNA on

I think Jennifer is right in the fact that people should not judge celebrities that have C-sections. As women and Americans we do have the responsibility though to question the trend (by doctors and patients) towards c-sections and that we are way over the WHO suggestion of a 15% ceasarean rate.

Elle on

Thanks for posting this !!

I had a “scheduled” C-Sect. b/c one of my twins was in the breach position.

Therefore, I knew I was going into the hospital on that Monday morning… I woke up Monday, took a nice long shower, got ready and off I went to the hospital for the birth – lipgloss, mascara & all.

Needless to say I love my first photo of me and my family taken in the Operating room.

Thank goodness we live in this country with excellent Medical facilities in the event of an emergency c-sect too.

Jenny on

Made me want to give her a big hug!

Monika on

I think she is spot on. i could never figure out why other people get so worked up over another person labor. its a person experience. good for CBB for pritning this. In the end, wht matters is the baby is here safe and mommy is ok.

Amy on

I agree with Jennifer completely. I had two c-sections: one was not my choice and the other was. With my first child I was planning to have a normal delivery but mother nature did not go along with my plans. The second time around I chose to have a c-section because the first failed labor experience was horrible and the doctor basically told me that the second birth would most likely have the same result. There are many reasons that women end up needed c-sections: breech, multiples, preeclampsyia, STDs, placental abruption, drop of heart rate, failure to progress, fluid level issues, etc. I do not understand why so many women are so judgemental about it. It does not make you less of a woman or less of a mother to have delivered your baby via c-section but a lot of mothers who have gone through vaginal deliveries seem to look down on it. I would just say to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge them.

After seemingly endless hours of unproductive labor I chose a c-section with my first daugther because I was afraid of the stress the labor was having on her – not because I could not endure it any longer – I could have. After my c-section the doctor told me “there was no way that baby was coming out the right way” so I was happy with my decision. Regardless of how you bring your child into the world, we are all mothers and we are all doing what we think is best for our children.

About half the mothers I know have had cesarian deliveries and the numbers are rising. Every single one of them had a c-section because it was medically necessary. I just do not see how people can fault someone for events that are out of their control.

Heather on

Well said.

Jamie on

I completely agree with her letter, and applaud her for speaking her mind.

Parenting is a lifelong set of personal choices – none of which need to be justified to the outside world. We should take the openness of the celebrities about whom we are so curious with thanks and be grateful they are letting us into their lives – just as we would with the neighbor down the street, or a relative.

I am dismayed by all the judgmental comments left on this site, and wonder why the people leaving them don’t practice a little more empathy – how would they feel if THEIR parenting decisions were scrutinized and judged? Parenting is hard enough – why all the drama and criticism?

Dominique on

*Don’t judge celebrities or other people for that matter when you have not walked in their shoes.*

It is very hard not to judge someone like Christina Aquilera when she makes such uneducated comments as she did in regards to her choice for c-section.

Yes c-sections can save lifes and for that, it’s a blessings. When chosen for reasons like being afraid of the pain, they are completely unnecessary.

aNNA on

No one should criticize a celebrity’s c-section especially when they are obviously thrilled with the end result of having a beautiful healthy baby.

As women and Americans we should question the trend (by doctors and patients) towards the skyrocketing (1 out of 3) c-sections a way above average rate than the (possible not impossible) 15% rate that the WHO (world health organization) recomends.

mary on

I think everybody is intitled to their own opinion. We do live in America. Right? What is right for one person is not necessarily right for another person. As long as you don’t call people names Stop critizing someones opinion. I love reading peoples opinons and it has sometimes even allowed me to see their side or point of view.

heather on

I agree with Jennifer. Both of my children were born via c-section and that did not make their births any less special, period. Jennifer is right in saying that giving life is what’s special. Celebrities, or anyone for that matter, don’t owe ANYONE an explanation for why they had to deliver via c-section or even vaginaly. There are many reasons why it becomes medically nesecary. When we read stories of people giving birth vagianly there are no comments from us c-section parents questioning or judging how they delivered their children and we deserve the same respect. C-sections are hard to recover from, they are no walk in the park, but when they become medically nesecary we have them despite the pain and don’t think twice about it. Just like all of us parents, if it’s important for the health of our child we do it.

This site is supposed to be about babies and the joy that they bring. Anymore it seems most of the posters are commenting on age, method of birth, method of feeding, how they don’t agree with the names chosen, etc. This is not a debate based website. Yes, we’re all entitled to our opinions but there is no need to share them in a judgemental fashion at every chance. Jennifer is right too in saying that a negative statement is passing judgement.

Thanks for the letter Jennifer =)

Ashleigh on

I would like to thank her for writing this letter because it is so very true. People criticize about things that they haven’t even been through. I mean I had a C-Section and by no means did I want to, but I was in the hospital for four months and they did everything to keep her in, but she still came early. Basically people dont talk about what you would or wouldn’t do because you never know what could happen to you while your in that birthing room.

Kate on

I don’t understand why it matters whether any woman delivers vaginally or with by c-section. A c-section is an extremely safe procedure now. If a woman is informed of the risks both ways, why shouldn’t she have the right to decide?

anonymous on

I don’t feel that Giada was being judged at all. It was a simple statement of why she had to have a c-section. If there are people out there who feel she was being judged, that’s their opinion, but not everyone feels that way. I have had friends that have wanted to have their children naturally, but due to medical complications, it wasn’t possible. Some women chose to have c-sections, and some don’t. I have a friend that didn’t want a natural birth, and actually talked her ob, (who use to be my dr. as well) into it. The dr., had to come up with a medical reason for doing the c-section, so that my friends insurance would cover it. She had her tubes tied at te same time. C-sections are majory surgery, and it takes a long time to recover from these. If the choice is a medical one then so be it, but if it’s the choice of the patient, there should be questions as to why. In truth, what’s most important is not how the baby comes into the world, but that the child is healthy, and that the parents are happy with what their love has produced.

Hea on

I would never say anything judgemental about a emergency c-section. I do, however, find elecitve c-sections without medical cause completely unneccesary and it poses an additional danger to mother and child which I can’t deny or look past. I don’t think it’s right to decide that “yeah, I want my baby to be born on july 4th, that would be swell, I have to schedule now”. My philosophy is that babies are born when they are good and ready. Not by convenience.

I do not understand the reason of being afraid of pain. Is invasive abdominal surgery painless? I am a realist. I understand that the risks and consequenses for the body during and after major surgery are far more serious than a normal vaginal birth would ever be.

I was born by c-section after 36 hours of labor and the cord wrapped tight around my neck. In my case, the surgery was a good thing and I lived.

Jill on

Given the fad among celebrities to have elective c-sections so they avoid getting too large, or simply to avoid having their vagina messed up a la Christina, I think that questioning whether a celebrity’s c-section was necessary or not is a valid question. Celebrities set trends, and a trend of having a an elective c-section for vanity or because you’re impatient is not a good trend to set.

C-sections are far more dangerous than natural delivery. When necessary they are lifesaving and a fantastic option. I don’t even know why some insurance carriers cover elective c-sections. They make rates for eveyone else go up. C-sections are never ideal and the way some celebrities paint them as “the best way to give birth” makes more women desire them and causes doctors to do more risky operations that usually aren’t truly necessary.

Just because someone is questioning WHY a person had a c-section when no medical reason is given, doesn’t mean that they are blasting everyone who had c-sections and saying they are wrong. If you feel that way when anyone questions a person’s reason for a c-section, perhaps you have lingering issues with the way your birth went and are a bit too sensitive about it. Be proud that you gave birth, period. The facts are quite clear though: MOST c-sections done in the US are NOT medically necessary. The number from elective choice and failed induction is truly appalling. If people do not question and educate then the rate of elective c-sections will continue to grow.

Abbey on

While I agree that people should not pass judgements on other people’s c-sections or choices they make about their delivery, child-rearing, etc., i have to disagree with the last remark you made.

A negative comment is not necessarily one that passes judgement on a person. saying, “I don’t like the idea of elective c-sections” passes no judgement on anyone. it’s a personal belief, whether founded on any sort of research or not. going too far with that negative comment (i.e. “I don’t like elective c-sections and everyone who has one is an idiot”) is very much passing judgement and the allowance of such an overwhelmingly judgemental statement should be decided by the CBB staff. if no negative comments are allowed, what kind of discussions can we really have on here, if discussion is what CBB and/or readers want? if no disagreements are allowed, then the comments are, frankly, going to be quite dull. people can disagree with one another without getting into huge arguements and insults, it just has to be done with respect and clarity. i completely agree with the CBB moderators in the notion that, if you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, you shouldn’t say it in the comment section.

Jenny on

Thank you so much for writing your letter – I couldn’t agree with you more and couldn’t have said it any better.

At 25-weeks, we learned our son was breech. I tried EVERYTHING to get him to turn – trips to the chiropractor’s 4 times a week for the “Webster Technique”, acupuncture a couple of times a week, every old-wive’s tale known to man (doctor wouldn’t try manual version since he was so big and had never shown any signs of budging) – all to no avail – and had to have a c-section despite all my efforts to avert it.

I felt so guilty afterwards, especially since I couldn’t breastfeed due to the fact that I was on heavy medications for kidney troubles which developed during my pregnancy, and was in the hospital for 2-weeks after we’d already taken him home from the hospital.

My son’s birth and whether or not I’m nursing are two regular questions I receive from other women, and so often, they’re so judgemental without knowing the story and that I would have done ANYTHING to have avoided both situations not living up to my high expectations.

I beat myself up about it and blamed myself for a good while, but now that my son is almost 10 months old, I just see a blessing in front of me and the fact that none of the other stuff really matters anymore, so long as our family is healthy and happy.

All that “tsk-tsking” is so clique-y high school – ugh.

Heather on

I completely agree with her!

If a woman choses to give birth by c-section, vaginally, at home or in the hospital, what business is it of anyones from how or where a woman gives birth to the name she gives it or weather she’d like a boy or a girl?????

how many times on this site in the last month compared to before have people had to defend or clarify something they said? melissa joan hart, trista sutter, soliel moon fry….

who are we to think we’re owed explanations and clarifications of what someone else chooses???????

To the celebrities that visit this site or contribute to it, you don’t owe anyone anything at all!!! No Defense, No Explanation, No Clarification…You owe us NOTHING!!

Harley on

I completely agree. Does someone’s choice in the birth of their child somehow affect our lives or the welfare of this world? Nope. Who cares if they did it for medical or non medical reasons when the same result occurs, the life of a child. Not everyone has a need/want/desire to push a kid out nor does it make them less of a mother. Whether the child is loved and cared for is all that should matter to anyone. Period.

Megan on

C-sections are done too frequently in the US. They are way too common for the safety of mother and baby. The way our obstetrics system has evolved is creating this influx of surgical births. Women and babies are not benefiting from this method of birthing. Society is not benefiting. Only doctors, hospitals, and attorneys benefit.

We need to reexamine the facts surrounding birth to make truly informed decisions.

It is surprising that celebrities have even higher rates of c-sections than the public at large. I suspect this probably has to do with doctors being scared that something might go wrong with a vaginal delivery and they feel safer with a more “controlled” surgical delivery. I can imagine what it might do to one’s career to have a celebrity or their baby with a bad birth outcome.

Misha on

I completely agree with her letter. My first child was born by c-section after he went into fetal distress during labor. I did not have a choice. I hoped for a VBAC with number two but he had a similar situation and we went with another c-section. Sometimes I feel like women with easy vaginal births are extremely judgmental. In my situation, it was a life or death decision for my children.

We have no idea what Giada’s situation is and I don’t feel that as a celebrity she (nor anyone else) needs to explain her personal medical situation to the world.

Jen on

Someone mentioned that some celebs schedule c-sections like hair appointments. Some may, but not all do. Lately every time a celeb is said to have a c-section, they are poopooed immediately and said to have had the -section by choice, especially if the post birth photos of them look refreshed and there is make-up and neat hair.

It’s sad when it gets to the point that a woman is critisized for how she looks while or after giving birth.

Moi on

Any information put out in such a public forum (celebrity or not) will be judged.

There is nothing wrong with being proud of making the choice to have a baby naturally and experiece what women over millions of years have experience. It’s as though because someone is proud they did it this way, they are C-haters. Simply not the case!
It’s simply frustrating that many, many times today C-Sections are done for cosmetic, scheduling, mental, etc. reasons and making birth another “trend.”

heather on

So I totally butchered the spelling of the word necessary in my above comment, lol, please excuse me for that! I’ve had two sick kids and have had little to no sleep for 7 nights. That tends to do a number of your brain functioning properly. I think we can ALL relate to that!! =)

Daniella on

Thank you, Jennifer. I’ve been wanting to say that for a long time. I had to have a c-section because my baby was breach for the entire third trimester of my pregnancy. There was no way around it as much as I wanted a “natural” birth experience. What bothers me is that the pain, both physicaly and emotionaly, c-section mothers experience afterwards is out of this world, yet, not very many take that into consideration when posting “judgemental” comments.

Cindy on

If it was a medical reason C-Section, do you really think there would be an extra person in the room to take pictures? Unlikely.

Amanda on

Having had a c-section myself (due to a breech baby) and planning to vbac from here on out. I am not a fan of c-sections, unless absolutely necessary. However, I would never pass judgement on another mom, especially not knowing the whole story.

Irregardless of how you feel about c-sections or celebrities. I have 6 words for every woman in america:


Jennifer on

wow…Jennifer, you read my mind!! Something I wanted to say for a while now!

I think CBB and its comments of other are a little judgmental at times, especially with celebs who don’t breastfeed!

Tracey on

I agree with Jennifer. I had a C-section after a failed induction and it wasn’t horrible. I always had such a bad impression of C-sections but I was probably better off getting one in the long run since my recovery was very fast. And not everyone can breastfeed for a year or more. I never had a good milk supply (probably related to the C-section) and contacted lactation cosultants and tried all the herbal remedies but it just didn’t happen so I had to suppliment with formula.

Mothers are hard enough on themselves and we need to support other women and not criticize their choices since they are trying to do what’s best for their baby and themselves.

Kirstin on

AMEN sister!! I am having a scheduled C-Section on May 9th, but for health reasons/problems and it is SO nice to hear someone else say they feel it’s wrong that people criticize etc. I don’t like to feel as if I am doing “the wrong” thing and It is nice to have the support of other readers who feel the same. Thanks for the great post Jennifer

Lauren on

While I disagree 100% with the last line of Jennifer’s letter-I’m always weary of people who think things should be puppies and popsicles 24/7- I agree 100% with the rest. I personally do not advocate for c-sections without a valid medical reason and don’t believe they should be performed on women who do not medically need them. That said, I am sick and tired of every single c-section on this website being dissected to no end, just as I’m sick and tired of the granola crunchers who think it’s their place to insist that that all women adhere to their birthing choices (see the recent Samantha Harris post for an example). Every time the word c-section is written on this site, people get up and arms, and I for one have had more than enough.

scrappinseminole on

“If the choice is a medical one then so be it, but if it’s the choice of the patient, there should be questions as to why.”

I applaud CBB for finally taking a stand on the extreme amount of negative comments that are posted here. Personally, I would love to see that comments are never allowed. Instead, I normally do not read them at all. When I do see them, I constantly find myself asking: Who are these people who are SO negative? Nasty comments about the prices and quality (w/o ever even seeing the product in person) of products that designers work hard to create. More negative comments about a celeb preferring a girl over a boy (I was thrilled to find out the gender of my two daughters – does that mean I wouldn’t have loved a boy? Hardly. But I was certainly pleased at what God sent me.) And the unending comments about the personal choices of other people, particularly women who generally make what they feel are the best choices regarding birthing, breastfeeding and so on, for their own families – well, it amazes me that ANYone feels they sit in a position of judgment. Who are any of us to “ask questions” about anyone else and how they live their lives? Certainly celebs put themselves out there in their career choice, but that is irrelevant. Do we really dislike our own lives so much that all we have to offer is negativity? Thanks go out to CBB and it’s many readers who are wonderfully positive! It is so great to have a site that is NOT snippy, catty and full of hate and jealousy.

Also – I just wanted to comment on another post regarding someone else taking pics during the c-section. After my own c-section, my anesthesiologist was the one who took exactly the same pic as Giada’s well after the baby was out and cleaned up and all was okay, so it shouldn’t be assumed that anyone who didn’t need to be there medically was allowed to be in the operating room. I don’t know of any hospitals that do that unless the partner is not available to be present.

A on

I agree with Jennifer.

However how could you ask for people’s reactions when you always expect everyone to agree. People are not going to agree. True the way people express themselves isn’t always docile. But that is because people can have a lot of passion when it comes to disagreements. And not to print all comments is not right or constitutional.

T on

I totally agree with Jennifer. In fact, I was suprised that a few responses to Jennifer’s post seemed judgemental and negative. As women/mothers etc.., we should support each other decisions on personal matters such as breastfeeding/bottle or C-sections (elective or not!). I am sure every family makes these personal decisions with the baby’s best intentions at heart. We should be celebrating births and not critizing how the baby was brought into the world or how mom looked on the operating table for goodness sakes! I may do things for my baby that differ from someone else, but as friends/women we should totally celebrate one another. After all, mothering is the toughest job in the world. Lets support one another. Everyone’s personal birth and feeding desicions should be OKAY!! Was the baby born in a safe enviornment, is the baby being fed? Yes to both?? Then it is okay with me! – T

Kerri on

I agree completely. As a 24-year-old who doesn’t have kids on the agenda during the next several years (knock on wood…), I’m amazed by the amount of comments I’ve heard criticizing women who elect to have a C-section or use drugs during delivery, etc, etc, when the details of pregnancy and childbirth is definitely not something I actively seek out. The criticism is just extremely prevalent.

To me, it comes off really rude and judgemental. Giving birth is hugely frightening for someone who has not experienced it before. While having a c-section may not be the best idea, criticizing someone for wanting to do so most likely will not give them the incentive to change their mind, particularily if they are that afraid of the pain. And after the fact, it’s already happened, so you can’t change it, only pass judgement, which isn’t doing anyone any good. I imagine no mom is perfect, and parenting seems difficult enough as it is, without having to deal with the criticism of other mothers.

kristen on

I completely agree with Jennifer. As I mother who had a c-section, I have been on more than one occasion dismayed and hurt by the comments left by others regarding c-sections.

Kel on

My big issue is how women are railroaded into thinking that the “doctor knows best”. Sure, there are doctors out there who act legitimately in the interests of their patients. However, the way medicine is practiced in North America today, doctors more often have their time, hospital policies, or malpractice insurance in mind.

Megan was right, there is no evidence that the number of c-sections done today increase maternal/neonatal outcomes. When c-sections are necessary, they are wonderful. Far too many women are railroaded into having them for silly reasons (failure-to-wait, BREECH, etc.).

Women need to take their births back into their own hands. Do the research yourselves. Don’t blindly follow the medical/business machine that poses as our local hospital.

randi on

AMEN to Jennifer. My twins were born via c-section at 38 weeks because the presenting twin was breech. My fourth baby was born at 38 weeks via c-section because I had such severe bronchitis I barely had the lung capacity to walk, let alone push out a baby.

Veroncia on

Well said Jennifer.

I just wonder why people think that they have a righ to know someone’s medical history and reasons for a c-section. When I hear a celebrity has had one, the reason why doesn’t cross my mind. It’s not my business.

I had a medically, scheduled c-section. And I dare someone whom I don’t know to ask me why I had it, and judge me because of it.

Tracey on

I couldn’t agree more! Since we cannot be IN that person’s shoes, we have no claim in saying what was right or wrong. If you don’t have anything nice to say…

Principesa on

ITA, Hea.

I don’t think most people realize what we are speaking about is major abdominal surgery.

My theory for the rise in c-section rates in the US is the litigious nature of medicine. Doctors in the US are being priced out of delivering babies. Malpractice premiums for ob/gyns are obscenely expensive.

Until these issues are resolved, c-section stats will only be on the increase.

nastya on

c-sections are one of the reasons (not main), for high cost ins. too many ppl have it for unmedical necessity and for convinience.
i’m glad my first pic with my child after giving vaginal birth was my natural look and not all clowned up.

tink1217 on

Thanks Jennifer for writing. I agree. I had my first baby by emergency csection and my second by scheduled csection. My doctor did not want to risk a VBAC and possible uterine rupture. My second baby was over 2 lbs larger than the first and I wasn’t able to have the first one so its good we did a scheduled c section.

I don’t judge choices in childbirth or feeding your child. I think whatever works for the mother and father is what should be done. A doctor normally will not do a csection just because someone wants a particular birthdate or is afraid of the pain. Regardless of Christina Aguilera’s comments….it was HER CHOICE and her doctor had to inform her of risks. Do we trust everything we read in blogs and magazines? Celebrities have their words taken out of context so often I have leaarned to take everything with a grain of salt.

Bottom line…if its not YOUR pregnancy, YOUR baby, and YOUR life…you have no room to judge or criticize.

Principesa on

ITA, Hea.

I don’t think most people realize what we are speaking about is major abdominal surgery.

My theory for the rise in c-section rates in the US is the litigious nature of medicine. Doctors in the US are being priced out of delivering babies. Malpractice premiums for ob/gyns are obscenely expensive.

Until these issues are resolved, c-section stats will only be on the increase.

On a more personal note, who really cares what some random stranger thinks about one’s choice on how to birth their kid(s)? If one is that thin skinned, it is time to log out and read a book.

Persis on

Some people (and I am not referring to anyone specific or previously mentioned) need to have a c-section because they have genital herpes and risk passing it on to the baby with a vaginal delivery. If that is the case for a celebrity, you know they are not going to make that public — nor should they. Let them use any explanation they want. How they deliver their baby is no one’s business but their own.

Christina Anthony on

I also agree with some of the girls here. Celebrities do over do it with the C Sections. I’m sure there are other’s out ther that do it as well, besides Celeb’s. And not only do I think they should get in trouble for it, so should the doctor who performed it. If it wasn’t done for medical reason’s then the doctor should lose his license. Not only are you endangering the mother but the baby as well. (I’m not talking about the Celeb’s who had problem’s, I’m talking about the one’s who care more about their looks, then the safety of their baby as well as other mother’s out there).

It really irritates me how they get away with this. This is one subject that needs to be put out in the public. Last Nov I gave birth to our 4th baby, his heart rate was a mess. I tried to get the doctor’s to give me a C-section but they wouldn’t do it. They said they had laws about that! What the heck does that mean? They even had the nerve to tell me well if the baby dies, he dies. The day I had our baby his cord was all over his legs, arms, feet, and neck. I was soooo peeved.

I also agree with another poster. You shouldn’t get mad over some one’s opinion. That’s why we are all different. And we need to learn to appreciate that in one another. If God wanted us to think and act and talk an look alike, do you think he would have made us like that!

tink1217 on

christina anthony, I would never want to use the doctors you did. they actually said that to you? That in itself is more irresponsible than doing a csection! AND….if your baby HAD died…the lawsuit would have been a big deal then to them!

Jenny on


Even though people like Kel consider c-section for breech as “silly”, there are just a handful of hospitals across the country who will allow a vaginal birth for breech – believe me, we searched and searched, and none of the hospitals in our metropolitan area would even entertain the notion.

JuliaS on

Personally, I don’t care how celebrities deliver their babies – csection, vaginally or through their belly buttons. What I do take issue with is how in instances where they have admitted it themselves – their sections have been scheduled out of convenience, for some sense of vanity or plain fear of pain.

The reality is – a section is major abdominal surgery. It carries a greater set of risks than a vaginal delivery. The recovery is longer and more painful. There is also the risk of long term problems to mother and baby as with any surgery. I can see how for some of us – it really doesn’t make sense to take risks like that for reasons other than absolute necessity.

I have had six csections – because I had to, no choice in the matter. I have a lot of physical issues now that I am dealing with from so much surgery. Some of my children, despite being full term and healthy spent the first day on oxygen due to the wet lungs common to section babies. If I could have, I would have gone the non-surgical route.

Honestly, I wish method of delivery were not mentioned at all in these posts.

Bottom line is – a pregnant woman should be informed about all the risks of either method of delivery and make an informed choice about what is best for her AND baby. Whether she feels the risks are worth it to her for convenience, even vanity’s sake (though – really – csection gut is not so pretty either) or she honestly has to have one is none of my business or concern.

sheba on

I don’t think it’s that a breech baby or being terribly afraid of pain are “silly, uneducated, or misinformed reasons”. Pain, even the thought of pain can be debilitately for some people. Ask anyone with Fribromalgia (sp). I had two natural, vaginal deliveries. The first one was 4 days of hard active labor, not just a little pain, and the second one was 2 days of hard active labor. I hated both of them. The labor not the babies.

I had so much tearing and bleeding and was delirious from the pain (told to me by my doctor) I couldn’t even hold my babies after they were born. Yes, women are strong, but i don’t equate strength with suffering. Especially with needless suffering. And you know what. I think it’s okay to be afraid of labor. Fear is a fact. You just have to figure out the best way to work around fear. I don’t know how the nurses sat there for 4 days and didn’t give me nor offering me anything to ease the pain even just a little bit. My first husband was screaming at them to give me something. To the point where security had to escort him out to calm down. I still got nothing.

I told my new husband, I was not going through that again. I would have an elective C-section or an edpidural as soon as they could give it to me with my next baby.

I actually don’t tell any of my pregnant or soon to be pregnant friends my birth stories because they were just that horrible and nightmarish. It would scare the sh_ _ out of them. So I let all my friends come up with their own birth plan that works for them, their baby, and their husband.

I also believe that because 1 and 4 women have the herpes virus and a lot of women don’t know when they are having an active outbreak is the reason there has been a significant rise in C-sections. I bet the rise in C-sections and the rise in herpes have a direct correlation.

And though you can deliver vaginally with herpes if you are not shedding the virus, most women are so afraid of transmitting it to their babies, as it can be fatal, they just go for the schedule C-section.

Monkeys Mom on

Amen Jennifer! I don’t think it’s any of my business why a celebrity had a c-section! if they choose to share that information than so be it but it’s wrong for anyone to judge or to assume on the reasons for a c-section. Celebrate that the new mother is happy, healthy and most importantly that the baby is as well!

Nikka on

The only thing I’d like to add is that there is a difference between selective and emergency c-section. And conditions like preeclampsia, breeched baby etc, would still fall under emergency even if the condition is known in advance and c-section is scheduled, for the safety reasons. In that case c-section is understandable choice.

But if someone plans c-section in advance out of convenience, while there is no medical reason or condion, that’s when it’s not right.

Amber on

jenny, too true! and that is a huge problem in and of itself. many, i’d even go so far as to say most, breech babies can physically be born vaginally and be just fine. that’s why the midwifery model of care sees breech as just a variation of normal, and not an emergency in most cases (unless there is something else indicative of a problem). the fact that the vast majority of north american hospitals won’t *allow* a woman even the chance of a breech vaginal birth is a serious problem.

personally, i think the medicalization of birth in general is a serious problem, but that’s beside the point.🙂

Lycoldiva on

As a mother who had to have an emergency c-section to deliver my first child, I have a hard time reading or hearing other people’s assumptions that c-sections are “the easy way out. Without it, my premature baby could have had significant brain damage due to the decceleration of his heart rate. I do not regret that he was born via c-section, and do not feel like I missed out on anything; I have a happy healthy 2 year old now.

Amy on

In relation to this comment: “It is very hard not to judge someone like Christina Aquilera when she makes such uneducated comments as she did in regards to her choice for c-section.”

It is her body, her baby and her choice – why judge her at all?

Alicia on

I am so happy someone finally wrote in about this subject. I am sick of people on their high horses preaching about vaginal births and breast-feeding. Not every parent chooses those routes and the comments are often negative towards these parents. We do not know stars medical histories and they should absolutely not have to clarify why they had a c-section or why they formula feed. As long as the child has love, that is all that matters.

francois on

I don’t think its fair to judge people for being scared of pain and trying to avoid it. How many people would have a filling done in their teeth without some sort of injection for the pain? Well, I have (because of a phobia about needles) and the pain of the drill is bearable. Yet, just because I can stand it I wouldn’t look down on someone for having injections. I think they’re brave! Any additional medical intervention is a risk – but too much stress is a risk too.

sarah on

I think Jennifer is absolutely right about c sections. But I agree with Mary and others on the point that negative opinions pass judgement. I mean, I suppose they do, but what about the first amendment? What distinguishes us from China and other countries where free speech is not allowed if our media and other forms of information only allow us to present one side of things? It’s so SCARY to think of only hearing what some people deem to be the “right” side of an issue. I, for one, have shaped many of my beliefs on current issues, ethical questions, etc. by reading and hearing what BOTH sides have to say. This is a private website, and can do what it wants, but I think the comment policy in general on CBB is pretty frightening. Why even have a comment section? It’s basically: “you can say what you want, as long as it’s exactly what we want to hear, and doesn’t offend ANYONE IN ANY WAY.” I don’t want people to be offended either, but we’re heading down a treacherous path when that’s what determines what we can and can’t say (being offended doesn’t fall within the dangerous side of free speech–the “shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater for the heck of it” class of actions. I teach my fifth grade students that free speech means some people saying some really unpleasant things, but that this helps us make our own minds up even more easily. Above all, I teach them how great it is that we HAVE that chance to hear both sides of things and make up our own minds.

Amy on

Where did these “facts” come from? “MOST c-sections done in the US are NOT medically necessary. The number from elective choice and failed induction is truly appalling.”

I delivered my children in two different states (we moved in between their births) and both OBs told me that under no circumstances would they do a c-section for a first born child unless it was medically necessary.

The only time they offer elective c-sections is if you have had a previous c-section delivery. Furthermore, even though they are called “elective” in this case the majority of them are really not chosen. My second OB told me that, based on the medical reason that I required the first c-section, that she recommended I have another “elective” c-section with the second child. Even though it was considered “elective” I still did not just chose to have one – I was told by my doctor that it was best for myself and my second daughter.

Dixie-girl on

Without a C-section, my now 3 year old son would never have survived the birth and I my life would have been in danger as well. It turned out that my pelvis was too narrow and he was completely stuck. He never would have come out vaginally. After about 8 hours of labor his heartrate dropped to the floor and they did an emergency C-section.

When they pulled Cole out he was purple and lifeless. The precious time that was saved, saved his life and the procedure altogether saved both of us.

Now I know that my next child will have to be a scheduled C-section because we will have the same issues to deal with.

I thank God everyday that God has given man the knowledge and ability to successfully carry out this procedure.

JC on

I agree with Jennifer. Lets be honest hear we have no way of knowing most of the time if a celebrity is doing it out of “convience” many around here just jump to that conclusion immediately. The only expection would be Britney Spears who was quoted as saying she wanted a c-section. Sometimes they are neccessary so stop judging people you don’t know especially when you don’t have all the facts.

Amy on


In response to this: “If it was a medical reason C-Section, do you really think there would be an extra person in the room to take pictures? Unlikely.”

Yes. My first c-section was medically necessary and there were two people in the OR room with me. My husband was taking pictures and my mother was recording with a video camera. With my second c-section the nurse took pictures of my husband and I with our new baby.

It just proves the point about being judgemental – you automatically assume that someone else is in the room when you just don’t know. It could have been the nurse taking pictures.

Plus, remember, not all medically necessary c-sections are emergency c-sections. You can still have a schedule c-section and have it be medically necessary.

Ramsey on

It is alarmist to state that C-section is far more dangerous than vaginal delivery, and this is clearly not the case in many situations. For example, a breech presentation delivered by C-section is associated with a much lower risk of infant morbidity and mortality (10% vs. 1%).

Intrapartum C-sections (vaginal deliveries requiring conversion to C-section) are riskier than elective C-sections, with higher rates of maternal death, hysterectomy, antibiotic treatment and fetal death.

Some post-delivery complications are more common with elective C-section, such as NICU admissions (but mainly with pre-labor C-section done prior to 39 weeks), need for post-partum antibiotics, and infant respiratory distress. Fetal death is actually less common after C-section compared to vaginal deliveries, even for cephalic presentations. Other complications are more common with vaginal delivery, such as pelvic floor prolapse, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and serious perineal laceration or postpartum fistula. The risk of post-partum urinary incontinence in women who deliver their first child vaginally after age 40 is nearly 40%.

One must consider the endpoint being studied. If the endpoint is number of days in the hospital post-delivery, then C-section will always look worse, as it is a surgery. It is also not true that only celebrities can schedule a C-section; a recent survey of obstetricians found that 75% were willing to schedule a C-section at the patient’s request. The typical medical indications for requesting a C-section (fetal distress, breech position, etc) fail to recognize other potential reasons, such as psychological distress/fear of labor, poor experience with prior vaginal deliveries, social and economic situations.

It is true that there is inadequate randomized trial data to support the use of C-section as a standard of care, but in many deliveries it will be the preferred and safer method for both mother and baby. Women who choose to weigh all these considerations and make the decision in advance, before it is forced upon them by uncontrolled circumstances, should certainly have that right, without uninformed judgment from others, whether they are celebrities or not.

Jodie on

Jennifer, positive statements are about passing judgment, too. They just happen to be judgments people like. If I say “hey, you look nice today,” it’s a judgment. Just because people don’t agree with something doesn’t make it inherently bad.

Sheba on

I think my previous most may have vanished in cyber space. Ha. Ha. It was kinda long. But I believe the rising rate in C-sections in this country correlates to the rising rate of herpes infection in this country. One in 4 women have the virus. Herpes infection can be fatal to a newborn. While you can still have a vaginal birth as long as you’re not actively shedding the virus, but the thought of transmitting the virus to the baby terrifies women.

Herpes is so prevalant, doctors don’t even test for it rountinely. It’s assume you have it or you will get it as it is highly contagious because it’s skin to skin contact. Condoms do not cover everything. They will test you for herpes once you become pregnant then monitor you for outbreaks as you get closer to your due date. Some women go on the anti-virals to prevent an outbreak so they can have a vaginal delivery. Some women don’t want to take the chance and go for the C-section.

Dixie-girl on

I have to add a response to someone’s comment above about how it couldn’t possible be an emergency C-section if there was someone in the room to take a picture after the baby was born.

How in the world would you know? When we almost lost my son and had the emergency C-section, my husband, mother and sister-in-law were all in the room. We have tons of wonderful pictures of his birth, and after the birth…video too!

Even though it’s an emergency C-section, unless the mother has to be knocked unconscious, there is time for family members to come into the operating room.

This comment is a good example of a person being judgemental while having no idea what they’re talking about.

Dixie-girl on

For those who say that C-sections are far more dangerous, not true.

Throughout history, prior to C-sections, infant mortality, and the death of the mother were far more common than they are now that we have the benefit of intervening.

Stef on

I ignore all comments here regarding c-sections, breastfeeding, weight loss, and any other child-related contentious issues. I do that mainly because every Jane-On-The-Street believes she’s is the expert on such things, even when she’s had no experience with them. I think it’s all part and parcel of that weird competitive streak that women can have among themselves.

Were I to make a choice over something relevant to my child’s health (when I have them, of course), I will consult a professional or a book written by one.

Though I will admit that the celebs I see carrying their 8-year-olds around on their hips are pretty annoying.

Wendie on

I agree with this letter completely! I am a women who had a scheduled c-section. I went in with my hair and make-up done too. C’mon- who wouldn’t choose to look good if they could??? My daughter was in the breech position and attempts to turn her failed so a c-section was scheduled. I find it strange that anyone cares how another persons baby is brought into the world. I also don’t think we should assume that just because a celebrity has a c-section, she did it out of vanity. I think they are just like any other mother and will put their baby first.

Amber on

when making statements about how any medical procedure has caused better outcomes in relation to the past, one must take into consideration ALL variables that could potentially effect those outcomes.

for example, we now have great medical procedures that can be used *when medically indicated* and those save lives. however, we also have much better sanitation, a much braoder knowledge of biological processes, and much better nutrition in north america today than we did even fifty years ago, and than many other parts of the world currently do.

intervetions such as c-sections simply cannot be credited with decreasing maternal and infant mortality rates *in general*. there are other factors involved here…

just my 2 cents.🙂

Barbara on

Having a c-section is not the norm. The c-section epidemic has been created by doctors and hospitals wanting to make money. I had a first hand experience where a doctor tried to scare me into an induction which I refused because I was under the care of a midwife.

It seems like people who feel guilty about their personal decision are the ones who get offended.

Why should you care what anyone thinks about the comments they make about other people. If you are going to share your story you are going to open yourself up to feedback(like I will probably get for this posting.

I can honestly say I have never felt guilty for having a drug free birth and nursing my children into toddlerhood nor have I ever been criticized – I wonder why?

Tara on

I agree with Jennifer.

To be honest i really did’t feel bothered by Christina Aguilera remarks. If she didn’t want a natural birth because of the pain etc fine that’s her choice. It seems that people think that by having a vaginal birth you are proving your dedication to your baby. Personally i want a natural birth but hey if you don’t want one and have the option of having a safe C-section (i know there are always risks but i mean in general, C-Sections have become much safer), why on earth not? Why can’t you give birth however you choose?

Jen on

After a failed induction and 11 1/2 hours a labor and 4 attempts to break my water, my doctor gave my husband and I the option of going home and coming back in 3 days or opting for the C-Section. As a person who has the scars (down one arm from my mother’s emergency C-Section in the 1970s)or as my called it my natural birth mark, I was frightened. That and the thought of having an epidural scared me as well. My doctors and the nurses along with my husband all felt the surgery was our best option, but left the decision up to me. Thirty minutes later I was holding my beautiful baby girl who would not have been with us had I not made the decision I did. Her cord was wrapped around her neck and in a knot along with both knees being locked into my rib cage. The doctors told us many times a natural birth would have led to a horrific outcome.

Seven years later I had the choice again– but the very thought of risking my son’s life or my own made the decision very easy for me. Both times I was home after 55 hours in the hospital and had no ill-effects whatsoever.

In fact, I have my 3rd scheduled to arrive this Friday, and there wasn’t a thought about not having another C-Section. We had more of a debate about finding out the sex then the surgery option. We’re waiting this time. With one of each, it’s easier to let everyone guess.

I feel that every woman has the choice, and 99.9% of the time vanity has nothing to do with a C-Section, and a healthy baby and happy mommy are the best gifts no matter what.

Thank you Jennifer for speaking your mind and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Sarita on

I don’t understand why women that had to have a c-section get so defensive when they read criticism on an ELECTIVE C-section. It is not the same thing but they always write angry coments and now letters stating I had to have one etc etc.

It’s not you who we criticize, it’s the people that choose to have an operation instead of trying to deliver their child the natural way.

talia on

i wish people werent so judgemental about c-sections, if my mother didnt have one then i would have died, people need to think about possible medical problems, with my family history (hips not being wide enough to give birth naturally) ill prob have to have a c-section to… so people dont be judgemental when you hear c-section, plus its like nobody elses business

Rochelle on

I do think we should all be careful about passing judgement, but there are some celebrities that make ignorant comments that warrent negative reponse. I felt J Lo was example of this, she was tacky with her breastfeeding comments as well as other things she said. But I know many people have C-sections for medical reason and some for size, infection ect-so i think people should just be kind when making comments!🙂

Erika on

I am a mother of 2 children; both c-sections and both formula fed. My question is: Does this make me less of a mother? No it doesn’t! My 1st child was breech, so my doctor (who is wonderful) advised me to have a c-section and I CHOSE not to breastfeed, with my 2nd I was also advised to have a c-section, to be on the safe side. I now have a 7 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. They are not “damaged” from being c-section and bottle-fed babies. Chill out ladies! We are ALL mothers no matter how our children arrive in the world! Also, to Cindy who made the comment about photos in the delivery room. My c-sections were medical reasons and the NURSE made a picture of our beautiful new family (and yes my hair was fixed and my makeup on)!!!!!

Holly on

I agree with Jill above!

momof4 on

I have had 4 planned c-sections, the 1st one I had to have and the rest were because I’d had the 1st one. I too have had a great experience and get very irritated when people judge when they don’t know the facts…. my babies are no less mine, because of it, and you can’t tell me that I didn’t “bond” with my babies because of it. I have had very easy recovery, and very healthy babies.

Nicole R. on

I always like a little bit of polite and respectful debate, myself, and so I don’t agree that “Any statement that is negative is passing judgment in my opinion.”

I think it’s possible to post a criticism of the astronomical C-section rate in the USA, or even a criticism of elective C-sections, without having it be a direct criticism of those who have had C-sections for whatever reason.

Michele on

I appreciate Jennifer’s comments and those from anyone wanting to remind folks that every woman’s birth story is a personal one. No one can understand all of the why’s and why not’s of that story except that woman and her partner. I believe that we are fortunate enough to have evolved to a point where women are lucky enough to have choices about birthing and we should let each other have the freedom to exercise that choice, without criticism and finger pointing.

Personally, I am in awe of every single woman who delivers vaginally. I “elected” to have c-sections with both my children – and I did have health-related concerns (although I freely admit the other non-health related advantages also interested me). Many of you would criticize me and disregard my reasons as “non-medical.” But to me, a c-section doesn’t have to be deemed “medically necessary” to make a health-related concern legitimate. When I became pregnant and started researching birthing options I spoke with women who suffered horrible tearing & scarring, permanent bladder damage, and even chronic hemorrhoid problems due to difficult vaginal births. I also spoke with women who’d undergone emergency c-sections and had very difficult recoveries.

I discussed all of my health and other concerns with my doctor and my husband many times before ultimately deciding on an elective c-section. I scheduled each birth 2 weeks prior to my due date and each baby was in the 7lb range. I had 2 wonderful birthing experiences with minimal pain. I was able to stop pain medication 24 hours after each birth and was getting in and out of bed completely unassisted by the 2nd day. I was happy to discover that the planned c-section is vastly different than the emergency c-section. I am extremely happy with my choice and will continue to advocate for women to retain that choice – preferably free from the uninformed criticism of others.

I like what one of the previous posters said – us c-section moms don’t usually criticize or question the vaginal birth moms, so please stop criticizing and questioning us! And that includes those of us who have had “medically necessary” c-sections as well as those who have “elected” to have c-section surgery – regardless of reason.

karrie on

Your reader Jennifer is dead on. Would I have chose a purely elective c-section? Probably not, but after ending up with one after a failed NCB that involved almost 2 days of labor and 6+ hours of pushing, I have a hell of a lot more compassion towards anyone who would opt for a primary elective c/s. And while I’m not planning on having more children, if I were I would probably schedule a repeat c/s. Not because I found having one “easy” but because I certainly never want to go through that kind of endless hellacious labor, only to end up having major surgery anyway.

I see birth as a matter of choice. The way a child enters the world is a personal matter, not a public one. I understand the POV that an increase in c/s is a public health issue, but have never understood why merely having a c/s opens a woman up to all kinds of weird negativity from other mothers.

Congrats to Giada! I hope your recovery goes well and you enjoy your daughter and ignore the hurtful comments that come your way.

d on

THANK YOU for this letter. I also had to have an emergency c-section (after pushing for 3 hours, my baby was in distress and going nowhere). It was not as I had planned, but any delivery where the result brings a happy, healthy baby and mom is most important. For my second, I had to have another c-section as she was in breech position. Please do not judge someone for having a c-section, there are many reasons why…

Cherryl on

I agree with Jennifer. We don’t know the whole story and shouldn’t be judgmental. I was one of those people hoping for a beautiful natural delivery and did everything right from organic food, to the best natural childbirth & yoga classes. Time came and baby wasn’t coming out and I was bleeding profusely. I even bargained one more hour of pushing with the doctor after he told me I needed a c-section. Turned out I had a ruptured uterus that needed saving after the c-section, and had a total of 4 hours in the surgery room. I lost 2 liters of blood, was in ICU for a while but am now thankfully fully recovered. I now have a beautiful and healthy 6 month old boy and am thankful c-section and the following reparative surgery were able to save me. I hate to think that if I hadn’t made it, my husband would be raising our beautiful boy alone.

Kate on

I don’t get the criticism of elective c-sections. If a woman is informed, who cares? Vaginal births are not without risks, and elective c-sections are safer than emergency ones. In either case, the vast majority of babies are born safely. As long as no one is forcing you to have one, why does it een matter what the next woman does?

tink1217 on

Michele, well said. And, with my elective csection for my 2nd child I also had a great experience. Easy recovery, unlike the first one that was an emergency. If I am lucky enough to have this IVF work I will be electing a csection again.

Ash on

I don’t know why some people take other people’s comments so personally. I don’t agree with elective c-sections, but it doesn’t mean I’m criticizing each and every woman who has ever had one! Geez… I believe we all have the right to speak our minds and say what we think. Political correctness will get us nowhere (unless we want America to be like China). If you don’t like what certain posters have to say, then just ignore them.

Also, one of the reasons why unnecessary c-sections affect all of us is that it’s causing the cost of insurance to go up!!! There’s a reason why insurance companies and hospitals all over the country are now trying to implement plans to lower the rate of c-sections because it’s costing our country a lot of money. So while it may not be politically correct to say this, other women’s choices can greatly impact all of us! I don’t relish the idea of tearing during a vaginal delivery either but, unfortunately, that sometimes comes along with the territory. Personally, I think if you can’t deal with the idea of pushing a baby out, then maybe you shouldn’t get pregnant in the first place (adoption might be a better alternative for people who are that scared). It just makes me kind of mad when people refuse to see how their decisions can affect everyone.

angela on

“Any statement that is negative is passing judgment in my opinion.”

It really irks me when people try to force everyone else to think like them. My opinion is my opinion, and as an opinion, your approval is not required. Period. Regardless if your OPINION of my OPINION is that it is negative.

Sara on

I was able to schedule my c-sections and had planned them from the beginning. My second Child was 10 pounds and my Daughter whom I had my first C-section with was basically sideways, so I had a choice and I honestly prefer having a choice. I have had 2 natural births and 2 C-section births and I feel anyone who does not want a natural birth should have every right to schedule a C-section, you do not have to be a celebrity you just need a Doctor that understands you. C-sections are great, no matter what the cause emergency or scheduled. I choose which way my Children came into the world and I’m happy I was able to have the choice.

I have noticed Mother’s are way to hard on other Mother’s and every Mom has the right to believe or feel what they want.

Beth on

I can’t speak for anyone else, Sarita, but I can speak for me. I feel defensive because if I am not willing to share with you my medical history then the assumption is that I elected to have a c-section.

I don’t think it’s any of your business, or anyone else’s business, why Giada had hers or why I had mine.

I don’t need anyone’s approval for my choices, but I get very defensive when people get up in my face about things they don’t know about.

suzi on


jordyn on

I laugh at the fact that you guys think that celebrities are the only people who have elective c-sections! Trust me, there ARE other women out there who would rather a c-section than a natural birth. A c-section is a surgery, and it is risky, but if they were so dangerous, they would not preform them! When did it become wrong to do the right thing for yourself? We live in a very fortunate society and should not judge women for something as silly as having a c-section!

Miu on

I absolutely agree with her. Can´t stand those fanatical missionaries.

Amanda on

I have to agree, C-sections are for some reason seen as terrible things now a-days. I mean i had both my kids naturally but that was because I was lucky enough to have fairly easy labours.
My sister had her first child by c-section due to the inducement methods the doctors used on her. And judging someone by how they choose to have their child, or wether or not to breastfeed is plaid rudeness.
Its not your child or you life that is changing and every person is different in their wants, needs, and lifestyle, accept it and move on.

Crazy Baby Lady on

A lot of c-sections end up being necessary. It’s the inductions that lead to them that are not. I ended up having a c-section with my daughter after 36 hours of labor with no progression. I did not progress because i was induced before my body was ready. It was my fault. I wanted to be induced because I was tired of being pregnant and my doctor said ok.

I also had a c-section with my son. I wanted a vbac but developed preeclampsia so I didn’t really have a choice.

C-sections suck. I wish I would have had a natural birth but I don’t think they are bad or evil like some believe. Both of my babies are healthy and I recovered quickly without complications. I really think that people should think twice before condemning people for things that may have been out of their control. You never know where you will find yourself when you are pregnant. Not everything can be controlled or go as you want it.

Sara on

I would also like to bring up that sometimes family schedule c-sections so that the family cam be there when the little miracle comes into the world. The mom’s friend ran into this situation with her first child-her husband (also the dad) had to leave on a business trip around the time she was due. She decided to schedule a c-section, so her husband could see the birth of the child.

I think in this world we have become very judgemental and only think our own decisions are right. I am guiltly it, as I am sure most of you are. Hopefully, we can learn to find out the whole story and then make our own opinions based on the facts : )

coodieo on

When chloroform was first used on women in the 1850’s for the relief of extreme labor during childbirth. It was condemned by most of the public(men)the clergy said doctors were interfering with gods will because women should bear children in suffering according to the bible. To me it seems the c-section debate is saying the same thing. You’re not a real mother unless you suffer like a dog during labor and delivery. After all you’ve had sex and got pregnant. So now you’ve got to pay for it.

Lilybett on

I began the discussion on the make-up in the thread she is talking about and, like people’s comments in other posts, it was misconstrued as an attack. I think this is a problem where blogs/forums have replaced face to face community discussion and cross cultural boundaries. There’s no tone, no body language to interpret. Something gets missed in the translation- I’m guessing this is where ’emoticons’ and smiley-faces are useful, to explicitly suggest I’m a friend and not an enemy.

Where my post was meant as a “I’m interested in women’s experiences of this – how many of you out there did your make-up/ got a leg wax before birth” comment to begin a discussion, it was assumed, wrongly, that I was attacking. Yes, people shouldn’t be negative, but people should also not assume all comments are attacking or derisive.

I had a genuine interest in learning about something outside my own experience. I plan on having babies soon and want the benefit of women’s experiences, which I can’t always get in my everyday life. Is there something wrong with that? That’s what I thought this site was about – to share, to learn, to entertain.

Shan on

I always said that I would never have a c-section. However, after two days of labor, which failed to progress, I made the decision to have the c-section. I was told that it was for the best, and that waiting was causing stress for the baby. It is a choice that no one can make until they are put in that position.

Lilybett on

I feel as though my last post was just about complaining so I’m going to try and offer a solution or two.

1. Perhaps there should be a discussion on the purpose of comments. Are readers here to discuss issues, to share experiences or to gush over cute kids? Personally, I’m here to do all three.

2. I don’t know much about how blogs work but perhaps all comments should be detached from individual articles and moved to a general forum for dicussion. There you could have threads to discuss issues, where heated debate is okay. Then you could also include separate ‘I Love Shiloh!’ discussions. By taking the comments away each article, it may lessen criticism of individual celebrities. People wouldn’t be reacting right away to a picture. Rather, they have to make an effort to go somewhere else to have their say. It may prevent some emotional snap responses and give people some time to think out their replies.

Essentially, I consider this blog my online community and, like my real-world communities, I would hate to see squabbling tear it apart. I’d rather no comments at all than someone deciding to fold the site.

Elena on

I’m a huge fan of Giada and her cooking show and I watch her all the time, and it makes sense to me that she would have a C-section because she is extremely petite. My mom’s friend has three kids that were all born by C-section, because of the fact that she is petite and her pelvic area in general is small, so giving birth vaginally would be very hard for her. I have a feeling that’s the same reason why Giada had a C-section. That’s just my guess.

andrea on

Both of my children were born via c-section. The first because he was in the breech position and at 40 weeks, cord wrapped around his neck, and weighing close to 10 lbs, they had to open me wider that usual just to get him out. I had no idea how difficult the recovery would be, but thankful that he was healthy. My daughter was born via emergency c-section, at 41 weeks, cord wrapped around her neck too. I was determined to have my daughter naturally, however it was not meant to be. I was in labor for over 16 hours with her, and no where near that hope happening, she went into distress, the alarms went off, they rushed me into surgery and had her out in less than 6 minutes. My quick moving and extremely experienced Doctor told me later how close we came to losing my daughter and all the things that could have gone wrong. I spent the night in the recovery room as they tried to lower my blood pressure. I am extremely happy to live in a day in age were modern medicine saves lives.

Renee on

I agree that people need to stop being judgmental about elective c-sections. It doesn’t affect you so why are you concerned about it? If the baby is healthy, what does it matter? It’s not your baby.It’s between the woman and her doctor.

Jennifer* on

I agree that there can be some negative comments on elective c-sections and I’ve always seen that as unfair. I was born by c-section, not because there was anything medically wrong with me, but because I was too big to be born the natural way (my poor little mum isnt even 5ft and I was an 8 pound baby!).

I find its the same with breastfeeding- if you choose not to breastfeed then does that make you a bad mother? I don’t think so. Due to illness I’ve been told that I may not be necessarily able to breastfeed when I have children, but even so I know that I’ll get critiscised for not doing so. But then, there’s a friend of mine who breastfed for 18months(!) and it actually did her more harm than good emotionally (it was down to a fear of breaking the mother/baby bond).

At the end of the day though, for both examples I believe that its up to the mother as to what birth she has, as long as the baby is born healthy.

Kate on

I really like the comment above that “parenting is a lifelong set of personal choices.” I’ve known many women who gave birth vaginally who have been horrible mothers and have made horrible choices for their children…I’ve also known many women who have given birth via c-section (or for that matter, adopted their babies!) who have been wonderful, caring and devoted mothers. Now don’t panic…I’m not saying that women who give birth vaginally are horrible mothers…what I’m trying to emphasize is the fact that the love for a child and the effectiveness of parenting (yes, LIFELONG parenting – what really counts!) are not at all related to whether or not that child was passed through a vagina. I don’t understand why we all can’t see that.

Nicole C on

Ash, you say not to take comments personally, but then you finish your post with these statements: “Personally, I think if you can’t deal with the idea of pushing a baby out, then maybe you shouldn’t get pregnant in the first place (adoption might be a better alternative for people who are that scared). It just makes me kind of mad when people refuse to see how their decisions can affect everyone.”

That seems like a pretty personal type of statement to make.

I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the matter. I don’t care one whit how some other woman chooses to have her baby. If she can raise a child and give it love, kudos to her.

I think women in general should do a better job of trying to understand each other. Women alone can sympathize with everything they have to go through during pregnancy and motherhood. If we can’t be understanding of each other, how do we expect the rest of the world to be sympathetic?

m on

Right on, Jennifer!!

I had a c-section and proud of it! Why, you may ask…. because both me and my child lived! Some people might be critical but I don’t care because they weren’t there and don’t know the whole story.

Devon on

Like many have said, it’s not our bodies, it’s not our children.

We can’t what we read or what we see at face value. There is always something going on behind these words and images and for anyone to pass judgment on a brief conversation or a snap shot should hold off. Perhaps Christina Aguilera said that she wanted a c-section cause she was afraid of the pain and vaginal tearing or perhaps there was another issue that she didn’t feel like discussing. We don’t know her medical history, so we can’t say she was wrong to do so.

My cousin’s death was a direct link to her giving birth vaginally. She had an aneurysm 6 days after giving birth to her son, and a stroke 7 days after that. The doctors have said it was the stress of labour that ruptured the aneurysm she had been born with. Had she had a c-section, she would still be here enjoying her beautiful and delightful son. For that reason alone, I will be scheduling a c-section when I have children. I know it’s a extremely small chance that the same will happen to me but I am not taking that chance.

I know I will be judged for this, but that’s fine. Is it fair? No. However, I will know that I have done the best for me, my husband and child. And that’s what matters.

Heather on

As a mother who had two vaginal deliveries…I agree totally with Jennifer. I have dear friends who have required both emergency and subsequent scheduled c-sections to bring their children in this world, and I am thankful for the doctors who had this procedure available to help them. They were just as thrilled with their children’s births as I was.

I would not have cared if they pulled my daughters out of my eyeballs, as long as they made it safely into my arms, that’s all that counts.

Evan on

I don’t believe that having a c-section because your baby is breech is “silly”.

My sister’s first baby was breech and she had a natural delivery and she had awful tearing. And not the normal front to back, her tearing went upwards into her labia and required nearly a year surgeries by a plastic surgeon to reconstruct so that it looked like it did before she gave birth.

So you can imagine that when it came time to deliver her second, she and her new OBGYN decided she would have an c-section.

Bottom line is that unless you’re in that person’s shoes, you don’t know the reasons why they chose a c-section. You can offer your opinion on it, but in the end it’s still only speculation and the most important thing in that situation is that it was best for both the baby AND the Mum.



shauna on

Yes, please.

I already know that I’m having a c-section, four months from now, because my uterus wouldn’t survive the experience of labor, due to an earlier surgery. To my mind, I’ll have a child because of this procedure. That’s all that matters. The child being born, healthy and here.

The constant comment I hear, about vaginal birth being “the right way” or “the natural way” is really destructive to people who need to have c-sections. And to those children who are born that way. The fact is, c-sections are here now. I have a friend who is an OB/GYN, and he says that c-sections can save children and mother who would have otherwise died in childbirth. It is that simple. Perhaps there are too many c-sections being done now, due to our litigious society. But really, would you want to be the mother who insisted that you do it the “right way” and then your child dies?

I’m amazed with the haze of shame that has been placed around c-sections in this country. And you know what? Discussing whether or not having a baby by c-section is really birth? (I’ve heard this.) That’s selfish. Don’t be concerned only with your own experience in this. Bring the child into the world.

amylamy on

i just don’t get why people care so much about what celebrities and other women do with their bodies. it’s fun to hear the info but at the end of the day it has very little to do with our own lives, other than maybe giving some women the chance to feel better about themselves because they picked the “right” way to do things. at the end of the day everyone is responsible for themselves and their babies, and they need to pick what works best for them. and if normal people are dumb enough to mimic what celebs do without doing proper research then that’s their bed and they can lie in it.
and please, there is absolutely no right way to do anything. i’m all for a real discussion but too often i feel like these comment sections are just used by people to nitpick the small portion of celebrities’ lives that they see here.

Norah on

A lot of C section medical experts here. Gotta love the judgement even in the case that a mother dare choose to have a scheduled c-section.
I am glad we have choices in this day and age.

Cupcake on

C-sections should NOT be some run of the mill surgery done to appease mothers.
I think they are great for what they were INTITALLY intended to be: a last resort, life saving operation.

The bottom line is they are overused. Our bodies are made to birth children. I’m sick of the “she’s small, there’s no WAY she could have that child!” comments. It’s a lie. I am 5 feet, 100lbs soaking wet, and gained 17 lbs. while pregnant. I gave birth to an 8.5 lb. child, whose head was 14.5. I barely tore. It CAN be done. This business of being ‘scared’ of pain or worried about your vagina afterwards is SO superficial.
Stretchmarks, possible tearing, pain during labor are par for the course! It’s well-documented these things happen. It’s not a new thing. It’s what you go through for the ultimate outcome of creating life!
The sad fact is doctors are NOT medical deities! They are humans. They make errors. They are NOT always right and often times, they do NOT always know ‘best’. Not all doctors who graduate, do so at the top of their classes. For this reason, I will ALWAYS trust my own instinct more. My child, my body=I know both best. And I will always research and learn, not just believe a person because they can put Dr. before their name and could have very well made it through medical school with D’s.
Just because something is labeled “safe” and has been done many times before does NOT make it a better route to take.
Be aware! Know your body! Educate yourself!

Joanna on

I completely agree. You can have a scheduled c-section without it being an elective one which was the case with the birth of my son. He was breech and I wasn’t able to deliver vaginally so I did my hair and makeup before going to the hospital as well.

sara on

i agree with jennifer. a woman’s choice to not breastfeed or to have a c-section are their choices and it is not for anyone to criticize. i also cannnot stand it when posters say that if someone does not breastfeed or if they have an elective c-section, they are misinformed. those choices come after much research, thought, and discussion with their doctor. as a labor and delivery nurse i have seen many births, vaginal and c-section. some, not maany but some, were elective c-sections. and yes any woman can choose to get one if their doctor will support it. the moms who had an elective c-section were just as overjoyed and just as thrilled as those who gave birth in a pool with no medication. for the people who call them selfish, that is very unfair. not everyone wants a vaginal birth, that does not make them abnormal or unfit. believe me i have seen women tear from here to eternity and have to be rushed off to surgery after giving birth to repair the damage and it scares me to death. fear of tearing isn’t the only reason women have elective c-sections but it is a big one. before becoming a nurse i never would have considered an elective c-section, but after some of the deliveries i’ve seen it’s something i’m seriously considering. my husband and i are thinking about starting a family soon and are so thrilled about it but i can’t share our birth plan with anyone because of people like a lot of the women here who are so put off by elective c-sections. my husband is a doctor by the way and comepletey supports elective c-sections. there are risks to surgery but they are not astromonical – c-sections are more risky when done on an emergency basis. so anyway bottom line, just be happy about your birth choices and don’t judge others or call them misinformed for theirs. i applaud women who have the courage to give birth at home or who have any sort of vaginal birth but it is not for everyone. i also hope to have the time to wear makeup and be waxed – from watching other women do it, i can tell you it makes you feel more comfortable about being completely on display. to get worked up over that is silly🙂 oh one more thing, i took care of a celebrity once and her c-section was NOT ELECTIVE.

jennifer on

I’m probably just repeating what others have said, but i couldn’t read all the comments. LOL I just wanted to say that as someone who has had two vaginal deliveries, it feels like a badge of honor to give birth the way nature intended. It’s amazing to see what your body is capable of. That feeling can come off as arrogance when compared to a woman who had a section and did not have to go through the pain and/or pushing, but it is just that-pride in what we have done. It doesn’t matter how a child comes into this world it is an extraordinary event in itself that a new life is born.

Danielle on

C-Sections are something people should be critical of because the Cesarean rate in this country is at a record, unhealthy, unnecessary high. The WHO recommends a Cesarean rate of 15%. America alone is over 50% higher than that.

Celebrities are too quick to show off and promote their elective C-Sections which are unethical and can be traumatizing.

There are MANY women who were forced into C-Sections and have been not only physically scarred, but emotionally scarred.

We need people to know that Cesareans are MAJOR abdominal surgery, not just another boob job or tummy tuck that the celebs think is nothing.

amber on

I admit, I am always curious as to “why” when I see a celeb has had a cesarean. But people (esp. pregnant ones!) always ask me what led to mine as well.

I “elected” my c-section because I was 4 cm after 15 hours of active labor (water broke 15 hours previously) AND my son’s heart rate was decelerating during contractions. It dipped into the 90’s usually, but sometimes even into the 70’s.

It’s easy to judge until you’ve had to do it yourself.

amber on

As for the comment about the “unlikely extra person” in the room taking pictures…

We have pics of us in the room…one of the MANY MANY staff members graciously took them for us. It looks to be from about the same angle as Giada’s.

Nicole on

She is absolutely right… and not just about being judged on her choice (or non-choice) to have a c-section, but about EVERYTHING, whether she’s nursing, if the kid has a bottle after age 1, if they use a pacifier for ‘too long,’ etc. People are always judging on things that are none of their business, and need to stop. Until you’re in their situation, you have no right to say anything.

In the end, a safe healthy baby and a happy, healthy, and safe momma are the results we all want, no matter how they get here. After that, it doesn’t matter how long they have a bottle or pacifier, or if you nurse them, it’s just making sure that they grow into proper adults.

Mary on

Ladies —

If you were induced, and ended up with a c/s, it wasn’t because there was something wrong with your body OR your baby — it’s b/c you were being forced to give birth when your body wasn’t ready.

If you had a bad childbirth experience, which most ob-medically managed births are, it’s no wonder why a c/s looks good. Vaginal birth does not have to be that way.

To the writer who says half of her friends needed a c/s for a medical reason…now, do you really believe half of your friends can’t birth a baby like nature intended?

Lastly…for those of you thanking God b/c we have a great country w/ great healthcare and medical establishments to birth in. Think again: America’s c/s rate is one of the world leaders, yet BOTH our infant mortality and maternal mortality rates lead the world…and are both rising right along with our c/s rate.

Wake up, ladies!

Renee on

Cupcake, I don’t think you understand.It’s none of our business about how a woman gives birth. It’s not our place to judge.Did you read any of these comments or did you just post?

aurora on

I’ve read how so many people take issue with the rising rate of C-sections. I’m just wondering why this is so bothersome? Why/how is it worse for mom and baby? I don’t mean this in a glib way, i’m actually asking out of curiosity. I understand that is major abdominal surgery… yet mom is only given a local anesthetic agent (therefore not risking full anesthesia). Other than the longer recovery (which isn’t always the case actually), what, medically, is so wrong with C-sections? I find it very interesting and love reading comments on this blog (respectful and insightful).

Kel on

I’m reading SO much ignorance on this thread…

A woman’s body seldom makes a baby “too big” to fit out. It doesn’t matter if you are petite or large hipped – pelvises move and shift and stretch in labor.

A doctor who told you a VBAC was too risky due to uterine rupture is full of cr*p – it may be too risky to HIM in that his malpractice insurance or hospital policy are looking for ways to limit their obstetrical liability by picking on VBAC mamas AND petite mamas, older mamas, fat mamas… you name it.

Until women wake up and realize that talking to their doctor and reading articles on the internet DO NOT constitute research, our uneducated population will continue to be bullied into unnecessary c-sections.

Oh, and finally, women who choose not to breastfeed because it’s “icky” or inconvenient shouldn’t have children at all. REAMS of information are out there about breastfeeding being best for babies. If you don’t know that by now, yes, you are ignorant.

Amber on

My first son was born 8 weeks premature because my high blood pressure became toxemia which then became HELP syndrome meaning my body was shutting down. My mom is a labor and delivery nurse and she saw them do a reflex test on my foot that showed I could seize or have a stroke any second. I was wheeled into the operating room and given general anesthesia. My son was born within a few minutes and my blood pressure went down almost immediately. Yet, because of the negativity associated with c-sections, I felt like a failure. When I was pregnant with my second son my doctors and I watched my blood pressure and health extra cautiously and my second son was a VBAC and it hurt like hell. Both deliveries hurt and have their own unique problems and advantages. But both ended the same way – with my beautiful sons healthy, and happy and in my arms. Live and let live. The real question about celebrities supposedly “scheduling deliveries like hair appointments” is why doctors allow that to happen, if it does happen at all?

joanne on

I was two weeks overdue with my daughter. I had to push for almost 4 hours and was not progressing. I had to have a c-section. My daughter was large- 9 lbs 7 0z. and took a medium sized bowel movement in me. She was def. ready to come out.

Meg on

I think we’re each entitled to our opinions, but in the end so what? All women are not the same. Each woman must make the choice that is right for her. We should try to respect that choice, even if it’s not one we’d make for ourselves.

The only thing that should bother us is when women are NOT allowed to make choices about their deliveries, e.g. because midwives are not allowed in certain states, doctors won’t deliver breech babies vaginally, or insurance companies won’t pay for the elective C-section.

The freedom to give birth the way we want means that we have to accept the truly elective C-section as well, whether we like it or not. I don’t like the idea of unnecessary surgery, but then other people think I’m nuts for wanting to have my kid at home. People will go on and on about how important it is to be in a hospital, etc. etc. I don’t agree, but they’re entitled to their opinions.

It only ticks me off when these same people try to make laws or policies that limit or even criminalize my choice. I’m comfortable with a home birth, some women are comfortable with elective C-sections. Whatever the method, we should all be allowed to go about the business of giving birth in the way that is best for each of us.

That said, I do think we should try to be nice when it comes to commenting about others’ birthing methods. What new mother wouldn’t take it personally when someone criticizes her for her surgery? What good does it to do to make her feel bad for something she can’t change? Remember the golden rule.

Jen on

If a C-section is not medically necessary I can’t understand why anyone would chose not to have a vaginal birth. The recovery from a C-section is harder. I’ve been in the medical field for a while now and know this to be true. If it is not medically necessary (meaning the mother’s life or the child’s life is not in danger) then any self respecting doctor should not perform one because it is a serious surgical procedure and should not be taken lightly. To have one completely out of convinience or fear that having a vaginal birth may hurt, then that’s just ridiculous.

P on

My mom was one of those women who was like how Britney supposedly was (having c-sections because she was “afraid” of giving birth), but the first C-section she had ended up saving the baby’s life (cord around the neck twice, decreased amniotic fluid, v. late baby, toxemia) and the second ended up saving hers (10 pounds, three weeks early, small pelvis).

It’s impossible to know everyone’s situation, so don’t judge

Linda on

i think people are way too touchy and quick to be defensive. people who are happy with their choices don’t care what other people think. my second birth was a c-section, but i still get why people are annoyed by unneeded c-sections. as for the breastfeeding thing. i do feel differently about that. i do not respect people who don’t even attempt to breastfeed when everyone knows it’s far better for the baby. i have no problem making that judgement and if other people don’t like it, that’s their problem. i don’t think people should need to refrain from expressing opinions just because some stranger on a blog might get offended. people need to have a thicker skin.

Renee on

Linda, it’s not that simple.Look at a few comments above yours and you’ll see why. Women judge each other harshly and some times those comments can be hurtful to a person even if the comment is from a complete stranger over the Internet. Telling people get a thicker skin is basically saying that people have a right to be down right mean to other people if they choose so and places the blame on the other person for daring to be sensitive.That never solves anything and people know it. It seems to me that people are grasping on to anything to justify saying negative things about other people even if they are hurtful comments.

madge78 on

I do get irked by the insensitive comments that can be left by the smug perfect ones who cant understand that every ones experiences are different. Its true, unless you know the facts and lets face it, it is unlikely we ever will with celebrities, we cannot pass neg judgement without realising that said comment might have a neg impact on a reader. I am due my third “elective” section in a week. My first birth was doomed to fail naturaly, I laboured for two days with no progress then my son had fetal distress. So unless I had an emergancy section he and I would have died. Then to add insult to injury, I could not breastfeed. Could not, I physically could not produce enough milk to sustain him. This led to severe post nantal depression as I felt a complete failure as a mum. My second daughter was “elective” as she was deemed to be very large like my first and doctors were worried about uterine rupture. I managed to breastfeed her but had to supliment it. When you incredibaly lucky women who had natural labours and breastfed with no problems start throwing judgements around with no thought, you dont realise the significant damage you do to a persons mental well being who havent had it as easy as you. I have read comments before that said having a section means you havent given birth or should never have had a baby to start with. Or women that dont breastfeed dont deserve to be mothers. Those words cut like a knife, you had better believe it. Not to be crude or take anything away from the miracle of childbirth, but any living creature can do it. It doesnt make us special, what defines us as mothers is how we go on from the birth and raise our children. As far as I am concerned, the defining moment of motherhood is not in the delivery suite but in our homes day in and day out shaping our precious cargo into a wonderful human being. Come on women, we should be supporting each other not tearing each other to shreds. What counts is the end result after all. Just my tuppeny worth.

Charity on

I agree with Jennifer 100%! People shouldn’t judge other people, no matter the reason. I am sure all these people in the world that are harshly criticizing others wouldn’t like it if the tables were turned. I believe the saying is “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. Besides, those of you who judge have absolutely no idea what went into the decisions to have c-sections for others. If someone has on makeup at her c-section, it doesn’t mean it was planned. She could have been at work, out shopping, or anything, when something happened. To each their own I say! It is your life, and therefore your decision!

Heather on

What I don’t understand is why everyone gets so defensive about their choices? If you believe you made the best decision for your situation, then who cares what anyone else says? Why is being critical of cesareans being judgmental of other women?

I had a cesarean with my second child and a VBAC with my next birth (twins.) I would never choose to have another cesarean unless I believed my babies’ lives were in danger.

There are so many medically unnecessary cesareans, many caused by unnecessary medical intervention in the first place. Cesareans carry real risks for both mother and baby and are not just “another way to give birth.” The risks of major abdominal surgery cannot be overlooked.

The bottom line is that women should be free to choose where and how they give birth. However, the rising cesarean rate carries implications for all of us, even those who aren’t having cesareans. It increases risk to mothers and babies and ultimately drives up medical care and insurance costs for everyone.

I am highly critical of the cesarean epidemic we are facing today. I know that most are not necessary and the problem is that most women are not giving informed consent to these surgeries because they are not truly being informed by their care providers. I can also see cesareans as necessary life-saving procedures-just not 30%, 40%, or 50% of the time. I don’t judge the women having hte cesareans, I judge our medical system for failing to put lives first and instead worrying more about profit and liability.

homefly on

It’s interesting that most of the moms that agree with Jennifer had cesareans. Unsurprising since there are so many of them today. Having had one myself, I don’t agree with Jennifer. Saying “I think it’s sad that there’s too many cesareans today and that most are unnecessay and less safe for otherwise healthy mothers and babies” isn’t passing judgment. It’s expressing an opinion – an educated one at that – even the CDC agrees with me. There’s nothing wrong with expressing an opinion. I never heard any namecalling or rudeness.

Only people who have issues get all up in arms and yelp “You’re passing judgement on me!!!” when an opinion contrary to there own is expressed. I say: GET OVER IT. If you can’t play on the internet without getting your feelings hurt when someone says something you don’t agree with, then get off the internet.

Angela on

You asked:
“I’ve read how so many people take issue with the rising rate of C-sections. I’m just wondering why this is so bothersome? Why/how is it worse for mom and baby? I don’t mean this in a glib way, i’m actually asking out of curiosity. I understand that is major abdominal surgery… yet mom is only given a local anesthetic agent (therefore not risking full anesthesia). Other than the longer recovery (which isn’t always the case actually), what, medically, is so wrong with C-sections? I find it very interesting and love reading comments on this blog (respectful and insightful).”

The short answer is that it is surgery. Plain and simple. Any kind of surgery can have complications including stroke, hemorrhage, infection, peripheral damage to the body, adhesions, even death. So many women are not given this information as they sign their “consent” forms and go into a cesarean thinking it is a great alternative to a vaginal birth.

Recent studies have shown that babies who are born by elective cesarean (meaning that there is no medical indication, and believe it or not ACOG does not consider a big baby or previous c/s as indication) are twice as likely to die in the perinatal period. Additionally, the risk of complications for future pregnancies rises with each subsequent uterine surgery. Nobody seems to talk about the issues so many women have after having a cesarean such as secondary infertility, placental problems such as abruption or incretia. Also, many women with prior uterine surgery deal with abdominal pain, bowel issues, and other problems in the coming years that having a vaginal birth would have likely avoided.

Cesarean section is an amazing tool to save lives. There comes a time, however, of diminishing returns where the number of women and babies who are injured outweigh the number who are saved by the surgery. Have we reached that point yet? Nobody’s sure, but recent statistics have shown that the maternal morbidity rate is rising sharply in contrast to the past few years, and the only thing that’s changed is the rising cesarean rate. I’m not saying that is it acutely *due* to the cesarean rate, but it is something to carefully consider.

I think the main issue that many anti-cesarean women take with the prolific number of celebrities having cesarean surgery is that is makes it more “normal” or “ok” to consider the surgery as a viable option to using a perfectly capable vagina to birth a baby. Celebrities are trend setters, whether we would admit it or not, or else websites like this one would not exist. And to many women who have felt emotionally damaged or disenfranchised by their cesarean surgery (whether it was necessary or not) feel frustrated by the lack of understanding by so many women in general that look to cesarean as the easy option. Because for many of them, myself included, it was not.

Does this help you understand?

Kristen on

My son was born my emergency c-section (his heart rate was dropping into the 20’s), and when people ask how I delivered, as soon as I say c-section, they get this “why?” look on their face as if I’m horrible. Some people pass judgement before they even know the reason why.

Amy on


In reference to: “I can honestly say I have never felt guilty for having a drug free birth and nursing my children into toddlerhood nor have I ever been criticized – I wonder why?”

Your comment is just plain rude. You are assuming that any mother who has had a c-section is guilty about it. I can tell you with absolutely conviction that I have ZERO guilt over my c-section deliveries. I brought two beautiful children into the world and that is all that matters. Who cares how I did it?

I have never been critized about having a c-section, either, at least not from anyone who has ever been through the experience.

It’s funny how the people who are the most judgemental about things are the ones who have never got through that experience.

Personally, I think drug-free delieveries are crazy. I do not understand why anyone would choose to be in pain if they do not have to. However, those are my personal beliefs and I would never judge someone because they choose to deliver their child differently than I.

If people would quit worrying so much about how other people live their lives, the world would be a much better place.

Courtney on

I agree with her letter.

I have 4 kids…

I had 3 vaginal births, the first was horrible, 15 hours of hard labor she was born with her arm over her head and I swear ripped me from stem to stern. I lost alot of blood and they stopped counting the stitches. My other 2 daughters were born wonderfully, no pushing, just came out.

Then I had my son, who was breech….the entire pregnancy. We tried to turn him and everything we could try…nothing worked.

I was scheduled for an ELECTIVE C section. ANd that was after I met with 4 (FOUR) different doctors…There are several hospitals here where I live ( St. Louis, MO) and NOT ONE doctor would even ATTEMPT a vaginal delivery…even tho I had had 3 before.

I do not look at my son and say “oh, your my c section baby, I love you less because you were not born the RIGHT way…” I NEVER ever have felt any less bonded with him than I do my other children…and not once during hte course of a day wish he had been born vaginally. He is here, and healthy, and happy, and if I would have attempted a vaginal birth, Im not sure I would be able to say the same things…

Amy on


I love this comment “I would not have cared if they pulled my daughters out of my eyeballs, as long as they made it safely into my arms, that’s all that counts.”

So very true! Nobody should care how a child got here – we should just all be grateful that a wonderful new life has entered the world! Every child is a blessing, no matter how they got here.

Ramsey on

There is a lot of opinion being presented as fact in these comments. C-section rates in the US are rising, and were recently recorded at about 29% of births. However, economic analyses have not demonstrated significant cost-benefit increases as a result of this trend.

The National Institutes of Health published a panel in March 2006 that found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against maternal-request C-sections, after comparing the existing literature on the risk of elective C-section (no established medical indication) vs vaginal delivery. This panel found that decreased risks of elective C-section included less hemorrhage by the mother and reduced risk of certain birth injuries in the infant. Increased risks included respiratory problems in the baby and longer maternal hospital stays.

The bottom line is that there is no evidence to support statements that elective C-section is known to be a riskier option across the board than vaginal delivery. For those that think women should be “strong” and risk experiencing serious perineal lacerations associated with lifelong bladder and bowel complications as some kind of badge of honor, I wonder what the cost of those complications is to our healthcare system over all those years, not to mention to the quality of life of the women who experience them? There are risk factors for complications of vaginal birth that can be weighed in the decision making process by the woman and her doctor in advance, and the result may be defined as a maternal-requested C-section.

I am sad to see that so many people seem to think that all doctors are just money-grubbing patriarchal bullies who “force” women to have unwanted or unnecessary procedures by withholding informed consent so they will make more money. I assure you all that is far from reality. Such an approach would only increase their liability risk. Doctors are certainly not going to recommend a riskier procedure to a patient unnecessarily. Most doctors I know did 10 or more years of post-graduate training because they genuinely wanted a career of helping other people. If obstetricians are more cautious or quicker to recommend C-sections in complicated deliveries, it is because are among the most likely group of physicians to be sued in this country, most often for frivolous reasons, and as a result have the highest malpractice rates in the country, a trend certainly not driven by the physicians, but by consumers themselves, who are primarily to blame for this aspect of rising healthcare costs.

kelli on

I had to have a csection due to the size of my baby, he was 9lbs11ounces and 23 1/2 inches long. The md told me due to his size and the circumfrence of his head, he was unable to fit through my birthing canal, and having a natural birth with him was impossible. I have no regrets! it was unplanned to have a csection, but after having one i have no negative things to say about it! It was still a wonderfull experience and however you need to have your baby, it doesnt matter, as long as you and the baby are safe and healthy!

Tffany on

Thank you for posting this letter. As a woman who has had 2 c-sections I have never understood why women in our society are so quick to make an issue of either c-section or natural births. This is 2008 and we have choices and everyone’s personal and medical situation is different. Let’s embrace how far we have come and the miracle of birth.

patricia on

before i had my daughter, i was so afraid of a c-section. i asked my doctor to do everything possible for a vaginal birth. not because i did not “believe” in them i just was afraid of surgery. when my preclampsia got so bad she had to be deliverd by c-section i was so happy…THAT is the way to have a kid, no pushing, high as a kite on drugs, asking for more drugs. I did not feel a bit a pain through any of it or recovery. so this is how I feel, MY experience.

SWB on

* Vaginal birth vs. C-section
* Breastfed vs. Formula fed
* Younger moms vs. Older moms
* Disposable diapers vs. Cloth diapers
* Stay at home moms vs. Working moms
* No nanny vs. Nanny
* Etc….

Why do we women have to divide and attack? Why can’t we be supportive, understanding and loving towards each other?

Kayla on

I think that before we judge celebrities and their choices for raising their families, it is important to realize why we are doing so. I have a feeling that many people judge so harshly because in doing so they are able to justify the choices they have made.

We often judge others to make ourselves feel better; “I’m a better mom then her because I breastfed my baby” or “I’m smarter then she is because I didn’t have a c-section”.

Before you pass judgment on others (celebrities are people too) remind yourself that all the choices you’ve made haven’t been perfect. Is there anyone who can say that they haven’t made a mistake during their pregnancy, child-birth, or while parenting?

I think its important to keep things in perspective and to respect other people’s rights as parents. Making the choice to have a c-section or not to breastfeed is a personal choice made for personal reasons. Don’t be someone who cuts down others to make themselves feel better.

Ruth on

Why is having a c-section, planned or unplanned, looked down upon? Does that make them less of a mother because they didn’t push their child out of their bodies? Does that make them not a part of the mommies club because they were not initiated with a vaginal birth? Think about it. We are all so critical and quick to judge a mom that had a c-section because it’s looks like they took the easy way out. When in reality, since it is “major abdominal surgery” as someone mentioned, they keep you in the hospital longer than with a vaginal birth. But every birth story is different, with different variables causing different outcomes. So until your faced with their identical pregnancy and birth situation,stop and think.
What you say and what your opinion is shouldn’t take any of the joy out of or make how one “becomes” a mommy any less special. After all, that baby is what let’s you celebrate that special “Hallmark Holiday” in May, no matter how it got here.

Susan on

I’m pretty late coming into the fray, but just one thought: Isn’t promotion of what celebrities are doing for their babies a large part of what this blog is about? Don’t we look at product info, and read parenting advice from the celebs? If celebs are choosing elective c-sections at a higher-than-normal rate, then shouldn’t we be able to talk about whether or not that’s a good thing for regular folks to emulate? If someone is having a more dangerous delivery simply for convenience, or to get a tummy tuck right after or to keep their vagina from being changed in any way, then should the blog promote that in as benign a way as shoes or strollers or T-shirts? It’s not about individual decisions, it’s about promoting popular trends. Maybe having a c-section because dozens of movie stars do it and make it seem OK is at least worthy of comment. The power of celebrity is something that, like it or not, has a lot of influence in our society.

After all, lots of readers are pretty concerned that coverage of Jamie Lynn Spears is promoting teen pregnancy… Just a thought.

Hea on

Dixie-girl – That has more to do with the fact that we now know the importance of sterile equipment during birth and the fact that we have pre-natal care and ultrasound and all that than it has to do with the fact that vaginal births are generally more or just as dangerous as invasive abdominal surgery.

Hea on

EDIT: I used the wrong word. It is not a fact that vaginal births are just as dangerous. I was supposed to use ‘rather than’ instead.

astrid on

to reiterate what was said above:


Kim on

Kudos to Jennifer for posting her letter about others criticizing celebs and regular women for elective c-sections.

When I got pregnant with my son, I had a borderline placenta previa but my OB labeled it as a “low lying placenta”. She informed us that it would probably move up the uterus as I got further along and that a c-section would not be necessary. I had several ultrasounds throughout my pregnancy to “track” the placenta. At 32 weeks, she had determined that I would be safe to deliver my son vaginally. She did tell me that I would probably be induced (as long as my body was showing some signs of readiness) as the baby was measuring large for his gestational age.

At 33 weeks, I had a partial abruption and spent four days in L&D. My doctors determined that my contractions weren’t enough to bring on labor and the tear was no longer bleeding or posing a threat to the baby and we were sent home. By 36 weeks I was having weekly OB visits with the high risk doc and at my 38 week appt. we were informed that I was 50% effaced. He said that we could try induction with a vaginal delivery, but if my labor stalled I would have to have a section. When he left to schedule the induction he came back and told us there was a problem getting us in and that the only two options were to wait or do a section. We felt that this was our sign. After being counseled on the risks/ benefits to mom & baby, we chose to have a section.

On the morning my son was born, I was well rested and well prepared for what to expect. What we couldn’t have predicted was what happened during the delivery. After the incision was made to my uterus, the placenta that was supposedly “up” enough came out before they could get the baby. The baby was tightly wedged in my pelvis and they tried to get him out with forcepts. When that didn’t work with everybody pushing, they finally made a bigger incision and using the forcepts my son emerged. The cord had been wrapped around his neck and he was blue. They had to give him oxygen from the ambu to get him to cry and then he pinked up.

I am grateful that I had my “elective” section. I shutter to think what probably would have happened if I had chosen to deliver vaginally, especially if I had been induced. I was up and walking the evening after giving birth with hardly any pain at all, and was even doing well enough to go home a day early. My recovery at home was also much easier than I would have thought.

I know that I don’t feel like any less of a mother because I gave birth this way.

lucy on

If I hadn’t had a c-section for my first child, I wouldn’t be alive, and my two youngest children would never have been born.

A nurse in the operating room took pictures of my blue baby.

My third son was breech, and the cord was wrapped around his neck multiple times. I dare anyone to say that I could have vaginally delivered my breech baby, and that the section was medically unnecessary.

Ruth on

C-sections are done too frequently in this country everyday because it is in convience for the doctor. Not medically necessary c-sections. I have had an emergency c-section and there was no one in the room to take a picture for me. Celebrities who have a c-section JUST to avoid the pain of childbirth are setting a trend that should not be set. Doctors do NOT inform patients of ALL the risks. Has no one seen in the news reports that women DIE from c-sections, even emergency ones? Babies DIE from c-sections as well. IT IS MAJOR SURGERY!!!!! Vaginal birth is the way that GOD intended and the pain was our punishment for taking the fruit of the forbidden tree. Accept it and take it like a Woman. A c-section does not come without risks and complications for later pregnancies. A c-section can RUIN your life, whether it be physically, emotionally or mentally!!!!!

Liz on

I am really, *really* frustrated that some people here are comparing themselves with the celebrities who’ve had ELECTIVE, for-convenience-or-vanity ONLY c-sections because they “had a baby that was breech” or “has high blood pressure” and therefore “scheduled” a c-section.

What I (and many others, I’m sure) am so upset about is that many celebrities have NO such reason for inducing this unnecessary RISK into themselves and their babies’ lives! C-sections have only a TINY rate of harm and/or death to the baby or mother- but it’s still a risk that’s THERE! If you were perfectly healthy- in fact, MUCH more healthy than “the rest of us”- your body fit and toned due to the best diet and personal trainers money can buy…why, why, WHY would you do such a selfish and stupid thing?

Britney Spears said she was just “generally scared” of labor. She had a c-section scheduled when she was nineteen weeks for the end of her pregnancy, then later moved it up over a week because she was “uncomfortable”. My close friend went through a horrible, gut-wrenching stillbirth with no genetic or physical reason determined, and for her subsequent pregnancy, she was scared to death that she’d lose this baby as well after a certain point and begged for a c-section at 37 weeks. She was not given one because the doctor gave her the standard chat about how “nature knows best when a baby’s lungs are developed…” He also pointed out to her that it was important for her to go full term because she was so very petite and had a history of small babies in her family. I only point this out because MANY of the celebrities who have elective C-sections are super tiny and would no doubt be given the same “talk”.

I don’t judge celebrities any harsher than a “regular” person- my aunt (who is my age, in her twenties) absolutely freaked OUT- not about the actual birth process, but about what birth would do to her body. Her OB tried valiantly to explain that God had made her body to do JUST this exact thing (along with breastfeeding, which my aunt refused to even try because of “drooping”) but was met with total stubbornness and lack of reception. Her doctor eventually agreed to the c-section but only because my aunt totally forced her hand- she said if she couldn’t have one, she’d go to this certain medical clinic (she lives in a large metro city) where they did c-sections no questions asked for $750. Her OB knew it wasn’t a safe place and therefore decided on the least of two evils although I know she hated herself afterward for giving in.

Although thank God, my precious little second cousin endured no ill effects from the c-section (that I’m aware of, anyway) she developed major ENT problems at just a few days old. As my aunt’s milk hadn’t dried up yet (in fact, she was having problems with a copious milk supply despite drugs and binding) her OB literally begged her to nurse even for one feeding a day- said it would help build up the antibodies in her system to help fight the ear infection(s).

In every other regard, she is and has been a great mom. But she totally dropped the ball on the c-section/nursing thing, IMO. She stayed home, AND was mega-broke– formula was a serious budget stress AND making the baby really sick.

Do I feel “judgemental” towards her? Heck, yeah! She needs to have a reason that’s a damn sight better than “God, I don’t want to DROOP!” to knowingly and willfully put her child in harm’s way. Now my poor little cousin is barely out of pre-school and that child battles illnesses you would not BELIEVE including half a dozen surgeries on her ears. I’m not saying nursing would have stopped all of it- but I *AM* saying that my OTHER cousin who was born in the same city within weeks WAS breastfed and has only had two small colds her whole life. Considering their fathers grew up in the same city and work in the same industry (car sales) it’s hard to call in environmental.

I know there are scores of mothers who really do HAVE to have c-sections and who really CAN’T breastfeed– I absolutely do not judge such a woman and I applaud ANY woman doing her best in this endless race called motherhood, where the prize is hopefully always a happy, healthy child who benefits from the choices we as mothers make.

As long as anyone makes a choice with their baby’s best interests TRULY in mind, I respect them and do not judge them no matter what they do as parents. (Within reason and excluding choices motivated by mental illness, etc- just for clarity’s sake)

Liz on

it’s absolutely TRUE that women who have c-sections have a markedly higher rate of post-partum depression, difficulty bonding, nursing troubles, severely higher instances of pain, and more negative associations toward the baby.

I’m not saying “a lot” of women who have c-sections go through this because I don’t know the number- but I do know the PERCENTAGES are unbelievably higher vs women who give birth vaginally either with OR without epidurals- and while I’m on my laptop and do not have that site marked, I STRONGLY encourage ANYONE to go to Google or another reputable search engine and query “negative responses to c-section” or a similar term- you will be overwhelmed (NOT in a good way) at the onslaught of horrors a c-section can bring about.

While I’m at it- the ridiculous overuse of pitocin (to keep this hideous “get em in, get em out” 24 hour hospital stay standard intact) is a major cause of needless c-sections. Unless your labor is significantly stalled, DO YOUR HOMEWORK on pitocin- it’s becoming “standard care” in FAR too many births!

Beatrice on

I think there are many people who are too self-righteous about birth and delivery in general. It is such a personal matter regardless of reason. I went into labour expecting a vaginal birth (and did everything by the book to ensure a natural childbirth), not knowing that my son had the umbilical cord wrapped around him 3 times and emergency c-section saved both me and my child. If I knew this earlier, I would’ve chosen elective c-section. People should know the whole story before passing judgements.

lucy on

Wow. Ruth, you have got to be kidding.

I guess God intended for me to die, and I cheated death and now I’m going to hell?

That makes as much sense as saying that a c-section ruins your life because you didn’t have a vaginal delivery…

Beth on

Cupcake said: My child, my body=I know both best.

I think that’s exactly the point, actually. You know your body best, and I know mine and millions of other women, including Giada, know theirs.

We have to make the best choices for ourselves and your choice isn’t mine. I don’t have a problem with that, but it’s clear that you do.

My advice — get over the superiority and recognize that there’s more than one way to give birth. The traditional way isn’t always the best way for every woman, no matter what you think.

sigh on

Is Ruth’s post at 9:12 a joke? I seriously hope so.

Renee on

Ruth, your comment is an example of what Jennifer was talking about.Since you are not a doctor, I would hope no one takes your comment as actual valid information.It’s none of your business how a woman chooses to have her child delivered. I’m surprised your comments were allowed.They are beyond offensive.

Darcy on

“it’s absolutely TRUE that women who have c-sections have a markedly higher rate of post-partum depression, difficulty bonding, nursing troubles, severely higher instances of pain, and more negative associations toward the baby.” You cannot just lump everyone into one category simply because you do not agree their choice because it is far from being “TRUE”! Pregnancy and Birth are different for everyone and different between each of their children. I had an unplanned c-section, and guess what hardly any pain at all after, and guess what else, no trouble bonding or any negativity toward my son. Here is another shocker, Since I stayed in the hospital for 5 days post, I had a much easier time breast feeding because they had classes to attend and consultants that worked with you at anytime. Circumstances are different for everyone. Isn’t there a saying about what happens when you just assume something?

EnjoyBirth on

I agree we shouldn’t judge anyone for their choices. We don’t know why she chose a cesarean. This is a hot topic in so many places so I created a post about it for ladies on the different boards I frequent.

Sterphanie on

I’m so tired of this c-section discussion. Not just on this site, but in general. Yes, the US has a large number of c-section births. Yes, we should aim to reduce the number of unnecessary c-sections. No, I don’t want one more person to give me that “oh, sorry” look when I explain that my son arrived via c-section, as if we all somehow deserve to be lumped into some lesser, “pity you” category. C-sections occur for a multitude of reasons – medically appropriate or not. If celebrities truly are electing to have c-sections, then I call their physicians into question for agreeing to do so. But honestly, who really knows how many of these procedures are medically necessary versus not. Our statistical analyses based on medical recordkeeping is so rudimentary that we can really only surmise the situation based on anecdotal accounts of “Well my cousin wanted a c-section and so…” The number is high and does deserve exploration, but no one has come up with an effective way to really sort the wheat (necessary c-sections) from the chaff (unnecessary c-sections).

Lin on

You go Jennifer!!!!! I totally agree!

Heather on

Wow, I hate to jump in here because it is SO long, but my heart goes out to every woman. I think one thing we can learn from this post is this is a heated topic and no one should be shamed. We try to make the best choices we can for ourselves and for our children. This goes without saying! Unfortunately, we are being misled in regards to the maternity system in the United States. I encourage every person out here to do some research. Watch “The Business of Being Born,” read Dr. Marsden Wagner’s book Born in the USA. Go to The International Cesarean Awareness’s website

After my “emergency” c-section with my first, I was devastated to find out that it was unnecessary and could have avoided had I known more. I went on to have a VBAC and it was the most empowering thing ever. But what was empowering was not the VBAC itself, but the opening of my eyes. A healthy baby is NOT all that matters. We matter too. A healthy baby goes without saying! We are women and will automatically do everything we can to have a healthy baby, but we have to put ourselves first to do this. It is time for us to come together!

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