to the c-section mamas

Dear mama who had a c-section,

I feel you. I know the burning questions you have of “wasn’t my body made for giving birth?” and “will I bond with my baby the same way as if I’d had a natural birth?”

To answer the first question, yes, a woman’s body is made to give birth in an ideal world. But our world,  isn’t always ideal and therefore our bodies don’t always perform in ideal ways. No one is made to feel guilty for being diagnosed with cancer or having a heart attack, and having a c-section for medical reasons is no different. Our bodies aren’t perfect and nobody’s works the exact same way.

a letter to the c-section mamas from

And to answer the second question-  Yes, yes, yes! If c-section mamas couldn’t bond with their babes, that would mean no father or adoptive parent could bond with their children, and NOBODY believes that! The love I feel for each of my children is all-encompassing.

With the recent reappearance of midwife births and the thousands of women who don’t use an epidural (both of which are amazing if you’re able to do!)  it’s easy to let those questions eat you alive.

I am very glad for those who are able to have a natural birth, I truly am.  (After all, I did enter the world this way. :) ) But I am also very glad to be alive, which I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be if I’d given natural birth to my 10 lb 10 oz first baby, then my 10 lb 10 oz second baby and 10 lb 6 oz third baby. Only my fourth baby was “little” at 8 lb 14 ounces. I know that many women have given birth to larger babies, but oh my goodness, the shoulders on my first. All I can say is ouch! When the doctor’s first words after his birth are, “You have a future linebacker on your hands,” well, I think you get the picture.

 Motherhood is filled with so much guilt. So. much. guilt. How many of you have thought any of these?

I yelled too much today.

I didn’t breastfeed long enough.

My kids aren’t going to the best schools.

We don’t eat enough vegetables.

a letter to the c-section mamas from

With my newest c-section babe, who’s now 15 months old.

So why must we c-section mamas feel bad about the method in which our child entered the world? We still did the hard work. We carried that precious bundle for months and months, and we get allllll the work ahead of us for the next 18+ years. We suffered pain from the c-section recovery (and some of you suffered through labor, then still had a c-section!)

I used to feel that having a c-section made me a “less-than” woman. But I read something on another blog a few years back that really stuck with me. Your child’s birth- whether it’s 100% natural, at home in the bathtub or a c-section in a cold, sterile operating room- is one day. ONE DAY. Of your whole child’s life. He or she will certainly not remember the method by which he entered the world. I promise you that.

So ladies, let’s do each other a favor? Encourage one another. Don’t try to make another lady feel like she is less of a mother because she has a scar in a different place than you. For those of us who can’t use a midwife, let’s affirm those who choose to. We will all get 100% of the mothering experience- no matter which way our babies got here! And it’s way too hard a path to walk alone. We need each other!

If you’re a mom, I’d love to hear your birth stories! What woman doesn’t love a good birth story, right?


About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!


  1. I had c-sections with my 3 kids as well, the first was an emergency, and I’ve always rejoiced that I was able to have that c-section and give birth to a healthy baby who had started to go into fetal distress from the cord wrapped tightly around her neck! I had no idea that I would then be given guilt trips for other Moms about her birth, or told my Dr. was lying to me about whether I needed it, or that I’m uneducated to choose repeat c-sections for my next babies (after doing all the research and weighing all my options and deciding that the choice I was most comfortable with was repeat c-sections). I’ve never understood why people have to be so judgmental about this issue. Thank you for this post. :)

  2. I’ve delivered 8 children… 5 V, 1 c with the twins and a vbac… What I would like for women to understand is to give your body some grace! I’ve delivered children both ways and I didn’t superior or less than. I delivered healthy babies and moved on with my life. Ladies stop trying to get back in the gym at 2 weeks post op give yourself time to heal… Especially if you’ve had a C… It’s a major surgery!!! Take the first few months to rest as much as you can and heal completely.

  3. Tonya Russell says:

    thank you. This article almost made me cry.

    When I gave birth to my daughter who was my first, I had to have an emergency c-section because of preeclampsia. I was 7 months pregnant, and not only that, but during the operation, my daughter flipped from the proper position as they cut me open, her arm and leg stuck out of me, the surgeons had to push her back in and reposition her (and I mean literally putting all there weight on my abdomen), and in the end they decided to pull her out feet first. THEN while taking her out, her head got stuck and they had to cut my Incision some more, so my incision is not a nice clean line, it’s an upside down T .Right before they were about to start the incision, they had to numb my whole body because I could feel them pinching my stomach before they were about to cut.

    My daughter was premature and had to spend a month in the NICU. my story of pain and suffering can go on and on about my daughter because it didn’t end after the c section, but long story short, i had so much guilt, it crushed me every night. Not only did I not give birth to my daughter naturally, or let her finish growing in my big comfy uterus, but she had to spend an entire month in a loud hospital getting pricked and poked at every day with out me there with her every second of the day, but only a few hours. It really took a toll on me because I saw myself as the biggest failure.

    Thank you for writing this article. I won’t be so hard on my self during the next pregnancy.

  4. Mariclaire says:

    Thanks for the article. I really needed to hear this and sometimes I read this blog when I need to. I had a c section due to fetal distress and my own exhaustion, pushed for hours with no progress, but I always felt that it was my fault or my body had not worked right. I know now that my circumstances were less than ideal for having a natural birth, a perfect storm of things and interventions leading up to c section. i do feel like there is stigma attached to this mode of birth though. Id prefer not to have another cs in the future but if I did it would be ok.


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