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Why are elective csections shamed?

(54 Posts)
Escargot82 Sun 30-Jul-17 12:04:51

I'm struggling with the attitudes that so many women openly display towards other women who have had or want to have an elective csection? For argument's sake lets talk about private csecs, not under NHS. Women get so angry and passionate about their disdain.
What I hate is that it's completely acceptable to shame a woman for wanting an elective csection, but it's not acceptable to shame a woman who wants to formula feed (by choice entirely not necessity).
There is an attitude towards formula feeding among MN women of "it's your body, your choice" but when it comes to birthing methods, csection is a no no.
If you feel this way, why??? Why one set of standards about what women can do with their bodies and another for other things?

OP’s posts: |
mimiholls Sun 30-Jul-17 14:44:45

I've never experienced this on mn, there are loads of supportive threads on here offering advice for women who want elcs. I had an elcs entirely by choice. Noones ever expressed judgement. A lot of people are ill informed of the actual risks of cs vs vb and a lot of the risks of vb are not spoken about because its 'natural' rather than an intervention in my experience.

Lj8893 Sun 30-Jul-17 14:47:57

I haven't seen this shaming on mnet to be honest.

namechange20050 Sun 30-Jul-17 14:49:15

I've not seen this attitude on mn for quite a few years.

TheLegendOfBeans Sun 30-Jul-17 14:53:41

'Tis bollocks you spout, wench

eurochick Sun 30-Jul-17 14:54:38

I haven't seen the attitude you describe on MN or elsewhere. If someone posted about sections, I might respond based on my own experience (and based on that, I can't see why anyone would want one, barring exceptional circumstances like previous birth injuries, mental health issues and so on). Dealing with recovering from surgery plus a newborn was a shitfest. But everyone is different. I wouldn't look down on anyone for choosing it, just be a bit baffled.

IdentifiesAsASloth Sun 30-Jul-17 14:57:56

Honestly? I've never seen that attitude.
I know loads of women that have had c sections, we've all spoken openly about it at some point or another and no one has ever mentioned being made to feel shamed.

Beachbaby2017 Sun 30-Jul-17 15:54:23

I actually anticipated that kind of reaction but so far have not received it all, save for one skeptical nurse. I haven't told loads of people I'm having an ELCS, mostly because I'm private about medical stuff overall but also maybe I'm a bit concerned about the reactions I'll get. But so far nobody has given me a hard time about it.

Runninglikeamummy Sun 30-Jul-17 15:57:08

I've only come across one slightly iffy comment. I suspect that this is because deep down, no one actually cares about other people's choices.

SorrelSoup Sun 30-Jul-17 16:04:01

Where I live it's all, "I pushed him out all by meself in 3 minutes." Glowing with pride. It's certainly a badge of honour, as is having dc before 30, formula feeding, and your baby sleeping through the night from day one. Weaning, too, is a huge competition, the last one I heard was weaned at 3 months for no medical reason. It's a very crazy and competitive world.

Nobody has said anything to my face about my c sections but they are definitely a no no.

TennisAtXmas Sun 30-Jul-17 16:11:49

I've certainly seen this. I was in hospital at about 7 months pregnant (with abdominal pain) with 2nd DC. First DC had a large head, long difficult labour, resulting in emergency c section, with a lot of loss of blood, so on 2nd pregnancy, they checked head size, found it too large by 6 months for me to deliver, so planned for c section at that point.
I mentioned to the nurse that I was expecting a c section delivery due to head size (was scared I'd gone into early labour), and she got very angry, telling me it wasn't something I could choose this early, it was ridiculous... refused to look at notes, general shaming, with everyone nearby stopping what they were doing to look.

gillybeanz Sun 30-Jul-17 16:20:14

Gosh this used to be the case many years ago and I subscribed to it because it was the thinking back then.
We use to call them the too lazy to push, designer labour mothers.
It wasn't available on NHS only as an emergency when we had our older ones, hence the stigma for those choosing and going private.
Normal NHS mums thought the elective CS lot thought themselves better than others, and fitting birth into their hectic important life.
Are ELS available on NHS now.

My only thought now would be having a GA and major operation, personally only in an emergency for me, but each to their own.

I was only thinking the other day how attidtudes had changed.

SorrelSoup Sun 30-Jul-17 16:40:25

My only thought now would be having a GA and major operation, personally only in an emergency for me, but each to their own

I would reckon that most elective sections follow on the back of an emergency section. A lot of women would not choose a VBAC after a prior traumatic experience.

Waitingonasmile Sun 30-Jul-17 16:42:10

Gillybeanz it's not a GA in the vast majority of cases. It's a spinal or epidural and you're awake.

OvariesBeforeBrovaries Sun 30-Jul-17 16:47:28

Cos it's all about the expeeeerience, innit? wink

I've had a vaginal birth. If they were such amazing experiences, you'd be able to buy gift vouchers for them on Virgin Experience Days. It's just a way of getting baby out, same as c-sections (emergency or elective).

I haven't seen it much on MN, but c-sections are definitely regarded as inferior in real life - and yet I'm one of very few mums I know who gave birth vaginally, c-sections seem to be happening much more frequently recently, plus it's major surgery, so god knows why they're seen as "inferior" or "the easy choice".

Lj8893 Sun 30-Jul-17 16:48:58

tennis why is it anything to do with the nurse? It's very unlikely she was having anything to do with your pregnancy so absolutely none of her business! In future probably best to just discuss your pregnancy with the obstetricians and midwives caring for you.

schoolgaterebel Sun 30-Jul-17 16:59:30

Mum's of new babies and toddlers are fiercely competitive, brings out the worst in some people, really.

Mums need to learn to ignore the judgement and passive aggressive comments aimed at undermining our parenting choices.

It starts with the way you gave birth and continues.

Smile and wave, smile and wave.

demirose87 Sun 30-Jul-17 17:01:30

A lot of elective c sections follow on from an emergency c section because there's usually some kind of problem where it's dangerous for the mother and baby to go through with a vaginal delivery. I've only ever experienced negative attitude once, which was with an ex colleague. Talking about how hard labour is, she said " oh but you only had a section didn't you?" To which I replied " yes, after 36 hours of labour and needing a blood transfusion". I'm due my fourth section in September and if I was able to have a normal delivery I would have chosen to, but unfortunately my chance of a successful delivery is less than 20%.

gillybeanz Sun 30-Jul-17 17:04:23

Oh, right.
It was just a GA years ago, which I think contributed to the stigma attached to it.
It was a risk that many were prepared to take for an ECS, rather than natural birth.
There were probably others as well, as even I can see that things have moved on a lot since then.
Tbh, I never heard anybody pass opinion or anything but concern for mother and baby after an emergency section.
But I did hear much about those planning one, mainly from wc women who thought it was a very mc decision.

TennisAtXmas Sun 30-Jul-17 17:06:42

tennis why is it anything to do with the nurse? It's very unlikely she was having anything to do with your pregnancy so absolutely none of her business! In future probably best to just discuss your pregnancy with the obstetricians and midwives caring for you.
I completely agree, but as they weren't present in a&e, at 10pm, I had little choice but to deal with that nurse!

Lj8893 Sun 30-Jul-17 17:09:09

That makes it even worse! So you are in a&e and she decides it is appropriate to judge your "decision" about an ELCS at that specific time. When in all likelihood she probably knows very little about childbirth! I hope you complained!

sonlypuppyfat Sun 30-Jul-17 17:10:43

I had an emergency section and I swore no fucker would do that to me again, and I had 2 normal deliverys after.

redphonebox Sun 30-Jul-17 17:12:26

If anything I MN posters tend to be quite positive about c sections! I'm sure I've read more positive c section stories on here than positive natural birth stories.

I have definitely seen a few iffy comments as well. But if you think there aren't also judgemental comments about formula feeding (and breastfeeding, and SAHMs, and WOHMs, and using childcare, and not using childcare, and BLW, and purees...etc etc etc ad infinitum) you're not looking hard enough. Always a few judgey people around.

IRL the people I know are perhaps more sympathetic to people who've had c sections but not in a negative way. Just because it's known to have a longer recovery time.

QuirkyGoose Sun 30-Jul-17 17:16:05

Do a bouncy on a trampoline competition.... c sections always win! Have had how empowering giving birth is from SILs, however the end result is a child. I do not feel a failure, my mother had very difficult deliveries nearly 40 years later it seems for women like me C sections are the way to go.

MinceSpies Sun 30-Jul-17 17:18:30

I think a lot of women who have had sections have a bee in their bonnet and assume everyone who has given birth naturally judges them, actually we don't really care!

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