The way you give birth.........

Sarah - posted on 02/19/2010 ( 66 moms have responded )

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So, do you ladies think the way you give birth has any lasting impacts on you and your child?
I've had a ''natural'' birth (as in vaginal) but with an epidural and any other drugs they offered me! lol!
I've also had an emergency C-section (undiagnosed breech)
I actually found my ''natural' birth FAR more traumatic (and i was very ill afterward) than my C-section.

I've had lot's of different reactions to my having a C-section, some have been downright nasty to be honest!
Do you ladies think the bonding process is effected? (i don't think that at all BTW)

Your thoughts? :)

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[deleted account]

I actually do believe that the way you give birth can affect the bonding process between mother and child as well as having a lasting impact on them. But, it doesn't have to be so. If you resolve your emotions regarding your expectations and the actual experience then birth can actually be a very empowering and emotionally strengthening experience for a woman regardless of how the birth played out. But it is so important that women are given support and the opportunity to explore any emotions they may have during and after their birthing experience. So many health professionals treat women like cattle in the birthing process ("one done, NEXT") and disregard what an emotionally laden time it is in that particular woman and her family's life.

There are many physiological reasons why interventions in labour and birth (medical induction, use of pain relief medications, forceps or ventouse delivery, caesarian section etc) can impact on bonding and have physical and emotional impacts on both mother and child. But, so long as the psychological needs of the mother is considered holistically as part of the experience then it shouldn't matter how a child is brought into the world, there will always be a way that bonding is instilled.

As for adoption, I don't know personally; but I imagine that an element of mental and emotional preparation must also be essential to developing a loving and lasting bond as well(?).

Mary - posted on 09/12/2010

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I thought about this a bit more, and, while I fully support a woman's inherent right and responsibility to have an integral say in what happens to her and her baby during labor and birth, a lot of this leaves me wondering....have we somehow done ourselves a disservice by placing such vaulted expectations on the whole birth experience? The simple truth is that labor, much like motherhood, is not something that we can fully control, no matter how hard we prepare or work at it. By placing so much emphasis on the importance of the birthing process, have we somehow lost sight of the most important outcome of all?



I'm NOT suggesting that we should relinquish all control, and allow things to revert back to the birthing practices of the 60's...but I just hear so many woman lamenting what could have been the most glorious moment of their existence simply because it deviated from how they planned or expected things to go.



In some ways, I was very lucky. I was always so enchanted with the concept of childbirth, that at the age of 15, I decided to become an L&D nurse. I went to college with this single goal in mind. Once I became that RN, I often fantasized about my "perfect" birth...laboring at home, and not coming in until I was close to delivery...and pulling my perfectly formed baby out with my own two hands. (I have even more details that circled in my head, but I'll spare you!).



Then, the reality of years of infertility set in...and that perfect birthplan seemed to dim in importance...as the years passed, I thought less about HOW that baby would come into this world, and instead, worried more about IF. After years of failure, that dream was shattered, and I had to learn to make my peace with being childless, as well as the loss of that marriage.



I re-build, and re-marry. I immediately conceive, only to miscarry at 10 weeks. My heart is beyond broken...such a cruel tease after making my peace with my reality. 3 months later I get pregnant again, and while I am anxious, all seems well, until I have HUGE bleed at 13 1/2 weeks...I see my car seat saturated with blood, and know that my loss is inevitable. As my husband races me into L&D, I believe that I will simply die from a broken heart...and yet, miraculously, there is a heartbeat, and my tiny little baby is in there, sucking it's thumb! I cannot begin to describe the feeling, the emotion....



After all of that, HOW she came into this world did not matter to me in the least...all that mattered was hearing the first cry...it was the most amazing, beautiful sound I have ever, or will ever hear. It would not have mattered to me if I was sectioned on a table in the hospital cafeteria without a drop of pain relief, as long as my baby girl was alive, and healthy.



So perhaps, I was "lucky" that my life intervened, and shifted my perspective, and priorities about childbirth.

Mary - posted on 09/12/2010

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Well, if it did, than all of the world born in a hospital in the 1960's and 1970's would be horribly scarred by mothers who didn't bond with us. ALL mothers, regardless of delivery method, were drugged out of their minds, and "came to" to be told they had a baby, and what the sex, weight, etc. was (and if it was even alive, or "normal", since this was pre-ultrasound). Babies stayed in the nursery, even if a mom was breastfeeding (a rarity in those days) and only came out every four hours to feed, regardless ow when they might be hungry. Breastfeeding was not allowed to begin until your milk came in...they got a bottle until then. Fathers only saw their child through the nursery window, and could not even hold their baby until the day they were discharged, some 5 days after they were born.

Now, I'm not saying any of this was okay, but somehow, most of us did bond with our mothers. I was born in 1970, my sister in 72, and I can guarantee that no woman in this world bonded with her children as strongly as my mother did with us.
Of course, this was at a time when women were, perhaps, a little less focused on themselves, and their birth "experience", and more concerned about having a normal, healthy infant to take home.

I guess at a time when women still went into labor, and could give birth to a stillborn, anacephalic, or host of other anomalies incompatible with life, and not know until after the birth....well, to them, HOW that baby came into this world was of secondary importance. As for length of separation...I guess I don't think that is necessarily a predictive factor either. I know so many woman whose babies are borm prematurely, and spend weeks in the NICU...and they seem capable of bonding just fine. A friend of mine recently had a full term baby who was born with severe cardiomyopathy (undiagnosible prior to delivery). Not only did he go to the NICU, but he was transferred to another hospital about 4 hours after birth. She had a section, so, while she did get to briefly hold him prior to the transfer, it was another 4 days until she even saw her son. I pity anyone foolish enough to suggest that she was not instantly, and irrevocably bonded to that child from the second she knew she was pregnant...while difficult and heartbreaking, the circumstances surrounding his birth in no way deterred her ability to bond with her baby. (After 15 days in the NICU, he did come home, on a slew of meds. Oh, and he is now an exclusivley breastfed baby!).

Sara - posted on 02/19/2010

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Only if you let it. However, I did not have a traumatic birth, so I can't speak to that kind of experience. But, I do think that if you build up your birth experience so much in your mind and are disappointed afterward, that has the potential to have a negative impact on your bond with your child.

I guess what I can compare it to is the fact that I could not breastfeed. I didn't consider anything else during my whole pregnancy, I was going to breastfeed. Then, when my baby was born, my milk did not come in, she was losing weight and I had to break down and supplement with formula. I was bitterly disappointed and made myself miserable pumping and taking medications to try and improve my milk supply. I think that did have an impact on my relationship with my child for the pure fact that I made myself miserable about it. One day I just decided to snap out of it and accept what was happening and things got better from there.

So, I guess my point is if you build up this beautiful birth experience in your mind where everything is perfect, you don't require meds, you push your beautiful angel out in 1 push, and all is well in the world and things don't go that way and you're bitter about it, then yeah, I can see that effecting the bond.

Shelby - posted on 02/19/2010

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Well I have had 5, and...long ago, I think it may have been harder to bond after a c-section if they had you completely put under, and all, but I've never had one so I'm not sure.



Baby#1--- planned c-section, I was 16, His cord was wrapped around his neck, Lost him a couple times, Guess he changed his mind at last minute, Came naturally. I was only dreading the c-section because in all honesty I was young and didn't want the scar...Funny how you change as you get older.

Baby#2--- Natural with an epidural, I would have killed someone without the drugs, Again I was young...17. Didn't understand a lot. Very selfish, Was just glad to have my baby out.

Baby #3-- Scheduled induction, Was too terrified through the entire time to notice anything going on, Was told the baby was extremely sick and had been reading papers the last 4 months about institutions that would be best for her, so just happy to see that she was alive and breathing.

Baby #4- Natural. First breastfed child, Most touching experience. Put him to the breast as soon as cord was cut, Glad I didn't have to have a C-section because I would've had to wait on that, and it was just so perfect and natural, I would have missed out.

Baby #5- Absolute TRAUMA Placenta ruptured, Blood everywhere. No medications, Doctors and nurses everywhere, screaming for blood, rushing, I was crying for a c-section to save my baby.... It was horrible, and all could have been avoided with a c-section, however the doctors messed up and I'll never ever go through that again.



So I'm not sure what all that is supposed to mean, other than I think it purely has to do with your experience at the time. For me there was a couple of times a c-section wouldhave done me more harm than good, but in the case of my last child it could have saved me the memories of total fear. And the wondering for my life, and the life of my child.

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LaCi - posted on 11/30/2010

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So I watched The Business of Being Born the other day, well, I watched part of it before I got sidetracked, anyway, If I had another I'd want a home birth with a midwife-if it worked out well which it didn't last time and probably wouldn't a second time, but you never know!

Still don't have any regrets about my c section though. It was easy and worked out well for both of us.

[deleted account]

Sarah, when I hear "natural" birth, I think of a drug-free birth. That term doesn't usually refer to vaginal birth.

But to answer your question, I delivered vaginally both times - once with drugs and once "naturally" (without). The experience without drugs was hands-down HORRENDOUS! Talk about being traumatized! I had flashbacks of the birth, like a soldier at war, for weeks afterward.

It never occurred to me that the way a mother delivers might affect the relationship with the baby. Maybe there's some natural benefit that I'm not aware of, but I wouldn't know about it.

[deleted account]

Lol Ummmm the same way most women do. :)

What do you mean by How?

I had my leg in plastic and had my hubby hold the shower head on my back. Then hobbled on crutches and having contractions to the bed. From there i'm pretty sure you know what happens.

The only thing i really remember about the leg during birth was that it started to throb. Other than that i don't think it ever really bothered me.



Or do you mean How did i break it?? In which disregard the part above! LOL

[deleted account]

Yep i sure did. Broke it at 38 weeks stepping out my front door. Full cast on my leg. Pregnant and on crutches is not something i recommend.lol

[deleted account]

Shannen, you gave birth to your first with a broken leg??? Like IN A CAST broken leg??? That's insane! My hat's off to you girl!

[deleted account]

I do believe that the way we give birth could affect the bonding process. Not ina ll cases.
I've had 3 natural births 2 with absolutely no drugs. I had more trouble bonding with my first child than i did with my other 2. I don't think it was the drugs or how i'd given birth but i had a broken leg and was in pain from it during her birth and for 3 weeks after. I couldn't do much for her because i couldn't stand. All i did in those 3 weeks was change nappies and feed her. It was hard. We have a great bond now. But those 3 weeks i didn't feel like i was living up to being a mother. Looking back i know how stupid that was but it's just how i felt at the time.

Charlie - posted on 11/29/2010

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For me personally I feel actually feeling the pain of my second birth without the epidural made me bond with my youngest a lot better than I did the first time , Looking back and comparing both experiences I believe the epidural played a huge part in the bonding process in a way that it really delayed it .

Candi - posted on 11/29/2010

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I have 3 kids. All 3 deliveries were different.

Baby 1: Scheduled induction. Started meds at 9am. Got epidural and Doc broke my water. Baby was born at 3:24pm

Baby 2: Went into labor about 8pm, doc met me at hospital about 9pm. Checked me, I was 8cm, so they gave me epidural. She was born at 12:14am. Held her breath. Scared me to pieces. SHe is still as stubborn today

Baby 3: Water broke at 2:30am, rushed to hospital. No time for epidural or anything. She was born at 5:15am. It was definitely the most painful. I'm glad she was small (7lb 7oz).

I wouldn't change my experiences for anything. I did breastfeed all 3. I don't think the birthing process has any effect on the child/parent bond. I think some parents may be shocked how the newborn baby looks! Everybody has their own way of bonding though. Its not just giving birth that gives you that immediate bond.

[deleted account]

I don't think the bonding process is affected by the way a child comes into this world (natural, c-section, with or without drugs). I had a natural birth with no drugs and loved it. But I don't think it made me bond any better with my son than my friend who had a c-section 2 weeks later. I mean, it's a known fact that adoptive parents bond rather well with their children and they have nothing to do with the birthing part.

[deleted account]

I was induced at 36 weeks and gave birth vaginally with an epidural. I came home 48 hours later with a 4.13 pound healthy baby. It took me YEARS to realize how lucky I was, and how other mothers would have envied me. HOW my son entered the world AT THE TIME actually did impact the bond I had for those intial weeks. It took me a long time to overcome that because psychologically 'not there'.

Lacye - posted on 11/27/2010

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I had my daughter vaginally, with an epidural which was so wonderful! To me, I think it was an important part in my relationship with my daughter. I felt that pain that I had to go through, and there was a lot of pain because I didn't react as well as they wanted me to when they had to give me the patocin. I felt the moment she came out and she was handed to me almost immediately afterwards. I had had doubts about all of it before she was born, but the moment I held her the first time, it was heaven! All of my doubts went away. I knew the moment I touched her that the pain and the 9 months of carrying her was all worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Leah - posted on 11/27/2010

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I really don't think so. I was induced,had drugs and an epidural. Next time I'm going to try without either of that stuff. But really all that matters is that the baby comes out healthy,I don't think it matters "how" the baby was born.





And how the baby was born shouldn't change how you bond or the relationship you have with your child.

Krista - posted on 09/12/2010

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Mary, I think you have a good point. Obviously we all have hopes about how we want childbirth to go -- but really, at the end of the day, the baby MIGHT have other ideas. We have to remain flexible about things and not get so hung up on the "how" that it diminishes our enjoyment of the "what" -- a brand-new, sweet little baby.

Erin - posted on 09/12/2010

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I agree with Kate. I think c-sections CAN affect it, but it would be a huge generalisation to say it always does. Also, I think difficulty bonding has less to do with the actual method of birth than how long the baby is separated from the mother afterwards (which can obviously happen with any sort of birth).

I know of a girl who had a homebirth, but baby had to transfer to hospital with rapid breathing. Mum was still being stitched and then was passing out from low blood pressure, so she had to stay home. It was literally almost 24hrs until she was reunited with her baby, and she is now 4 weeks post-partum and struggling with quite severe PND. She got the dream homebirth, but it was the separation that led to so many problems settling into motherhood and bonding with her son.

Megan - posted on 09/11/2010

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I don't think the process has anything to do with how you deliver. I had to have a c section for my daughter, emergency because she was a week late and even after induction I never progressed. I couldn't hold her for 2 hours after my c section because of a reaction I had to the spinal, but it didn't stop me from falling in love with her. Her c section took me forever to recover from though (8 months to be exact). With my son, they told me I had to have a c section due to a few risks I had. The c section itself was the worst experience; the spinal made me nauseous and I threw up on the operating table. I had hypotension and passed out for 5 minutes also. After recovery, I was perfectly fine and could hold him immediately. I also was up and around and back to normal about 2 weeks after.
I always wonder what a natural birth is like but I know it wouldn't change the bonding process at all. I still had my children growing in me for 9 months and felt all of those kicks and flutters (and heartburn and pressure!). My daughter and I have the most amazing relationship and are only apart if I'm at work. My son and I are getting there; he knows when I'm around, when we talk he smiles and laughs with me.
It's stupid to say that one delivery is "better" than the other for bonding with your child. If you're a mother, you're a mother... it's just there.

[deleted account]

I really enjoyed giving birth. I have natural births with NO drugs. I don't want drugs & I REALLY don't want to ever have a C-section. Child birth is supposed to hurt, I want to fully experience it. My babies come pretty fast, which makes the pain super intense, but doesn't last long.

Kate CP - posted on 09/10/2010

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There are studies suggesting that yes, a c-section birth can cause problems with bonding and breast feeding. But...I don't think you can lump every mom and baby into the same group and say "You had a c-section so you couldn't have felt as close to your baby as I did". From this post alone you can tell that while some women bonded without much problem (if any) that others did, in fact, have issues after birth. It's a case by case basis, I think.

My mother had a natural birth with no drugs with me, but an emergency c-section with my sister. She said she had a much harder time bonding with my sister because of the pain of the c-section and not being able to hold her baby right away. No problems these days, but in the beginning she said she had a hard time. I had a natural delivery with no drugs with my daughter and the moment I saw her it was over: I was addicted for life. Hopefully I'll get to do that again with this pregnancy. I'm really hoping I don't need any interventions again with this pregnancy...I have an immune disorder and when I get cut or my skin is broken I get horrible infections. :(

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Kylie wow..your son is so lucky..i agree theres nothing more powerful than a mothers love and touch.So happy to hear all is well. ♥

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I found my second birth which was an emergency c-section at 4 in the morning more traumatic..not the c-section as its the only way she could of been born to save her life..only in the section the 4days i was in hospital which lead to heavy bleeding and clots was finally confirmed in the c-section as abruptio placenta..she was so lucky.Doctor said it was a big show and told me to go back to bed in the ward.If i hadn't of gotten up and passed the second clot she would of been dead next morning for sure with a fully detach of the placenta and suffocated.

Bonding for me was different from the first but i did bond and holding her an hour or more after we were reunited ,her dad missed the birth because it was such a rush, there was no time to call him.I held her finally and it all went away,i finally had her alive in my arms,safe..nothing else matters at that moment and since..shes 20mths now.It was very hectic her arrival but all things happen for a reason.I learnt how lucky i am to have two healthy children and i dont care how there born into the world as long as i can walk out that hospital door with healthy children.I'd go through anything for them.
I had a carefree first pregnancy with a good uncomplicated delivery vaginally and she was giving to me on my chest were i held her and gave her the breast..it was wonderful.I have to say i recovered super fast from the c-section compared to the natural birth.

Sherri - posted on 09/09/2010

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I had all vaginal deliveries with no epidural and only a shot to take the edge off with 1 & 3 and completely no drugs w/ #2 but I also had very quick labors. I don't think a C-Section effects the bonding process in the least. The baby has still heard your voice all 9 mo's still sees you immediately after birth.
Why would anything be different?

User - posted on 09/08/2010

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yes. I had an emergency c-section where i bled out and barely saw my son before they put me under for actualy surgery, by the time i woke up and was out of the recovery room.... everyone and their mom knew everything about my son except me. I had a hard time dealing with this...... for along time. i hated. i cant have children naturally so if by the grace of whatever i have another ill have to have another c section. i dont know if i can handle it. Also my recovery after the section was horrible. i couldnt change his first diaper or carry him, or rock him the right way.... i felt cheated.... If i could have had him naturally i could have had a better beginning bonding time...

Stifler's - posted on 09/08/2010

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No. Giving birth sucks no matter what, I doubt that it is meant to be a pleasurable experience. At the end of it you have a baby. I don't know what the stats are on c-section vs, vaginal for breastfeeding but I'm pretty bonding with your baby it's what you make of it regardless of the birth process.

Emma - posted on 04/07/2010

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I had natural births no drugs with ether of them.
The plan with my first was natural with an epidural but when i walked into the hospital i was already at 10cm and they told me it was too late the funny thing was i had only agreed to go to hospital as my hubby thought i was in the early stages of labour i thought i just had back ache from sleeping badly as i fell asleep on the couch watching TV the night before, the doctor only just made it in to the delivery room in time to catch the baby as she popped out. it took all of 19min from walking in the hospital doors to holding my daughter.
With my son i opted for natural no drugs as he took about the same length of time to pop out, but with him i had a heads up as my waters broke with him which at least gave my hubby time to get to the flat to pick me up as we where all a bit worried i would be home alone as we where warned he might come even faster than my first.
im one of theses very lucky women who have had silent labours,

i would say the only downside to my experiences is i don't think i could ever effectively use the I was in labour with you line on my kids as 15 min's hardly seems like an ordeal lol

Kylie - posted on 04/06/2010

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I had an emergency c section at 27 weeks. I didn't see my baby, I didn't even know he's gender for a few hours, as they were resuscitating and working on him for quite a while in another part of the hospital.

I bonded right from the word go. I knew I needed to, because he had to get his fight from somewhere.

In fact, one of the consultants said it was my bond that had helped him so much, as he is the strongest 27 weeker they have ever seen

Lyndsay - posted on 04/05/2010

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Not really. I found my vaginal, drug-free birth to be quite traumatic and I said afterward that if I ever had another child I would get a C-section so I don't have to go through that again. I haven't had any kids since, nor do I plan to.

Jane - posted on 04/05/2010

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I don't think how you deliver your child has anything to do with the bonding effects OR has any lasting effects on mother or child. I had both of my children via vaginal births...my first with a one shot of demerol that made me feel sick so I went the rest of the way with out anything. The 2nd, I tried to have an epidural but it didn't work cuz' of some weird thing in my spine that made the epidural do nothing more than numb my left leg only (LOL - what a disappointment). However, I didn't go into these births with any set idea. They happened the way they did. My 2nd, my son had a knot in his cord so every time I pushed, it was cutting off his oxygen. Had I not pushed him out when I did (I had an amazing doctor who looked at me deep in my eyes and screamed PUSH), I was headed for a c-section and that would have been fine with me.

Like Sharon said....look at all those nut jobs out there who have killed their kids. ALL KINDS of deliveries...matters not.

Amy - posted on 04/05/2010

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i had a c section and natural birth. i think the only reason i felt closer to my son than daughter was due to nursing. I just had more contact. Daddy helpe out tons with daughter, but is working crazy long hours now and hardly gets time with son. i don't think MY bonding was too affected by the way i gave birth, except that i didn't get to nurse my daughter - which MAY have had something to do with c section. i know i felt like a failure after a c section, but don't think it made a bonding difference.

Brandi - posted on 04/05/2010

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"See it wasn't the c-sections that affected how you could bond with your child - it was the drugs. Those who had c-sections w/a spinal block... not affected by the drugs.

I had a natural birth and didn't get to hold my son seconds after birth either. He was rushed to NICU and was there for the next 7 days. Didn't stop my concern, love, etc for him."

I guess I am coming across wrong...I don't know about other ladies, but I certainly wasn't implying at all that a c-section stopped me from instantly loving my daughter or bonding with her. I said it ruined my birth experience.

"Actually some women wear that painful birth badge with an awful lot of pride. kind of a like 10K marathon pin... "LOOK WHAT I DID!! AND IT HURT TOO!" nope, not the pain that stops you."

I didn't want a natural, vaginal delivery for the recognition. It was just important to me personally. It DOES matter to some people.

Stephany - posted on 04/05/2010

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I had lost 5 pregnancies (twice with twins) before I finally had my son. I was put on bedrest for 12 weeks before I was induced. After nearly 24 hours of labor I was rushed in for an emergency C-section. I had grand plans for an au natural birthing experience- the perfect dilation of my cervix, the silly hand-crunching hold with my husband, the exasperated facial expressions, etc.- but my son's cord was wrapped around his neck three times and, in the end, I just wanted a baby with a heartbeat. The second his heart rate started to decel I begged that they cut him out- ASAP- because I was afraid he'd die. I was already bonded with him, and I needed him to live. Did I feel sad that I missed out on the birthing experience I had so desperately wanted? Absolutely, but I got the best thing of all- a healthy baby. He refused to latch for nursing, and I pumped for 3 months. That was harder, emotionally, for me than having the C-section.
With my second son, the doc told me he was going to be too big for a VBAC (especially since I conceived him 9 months after delivery of the first), so we scheduled a C-Sec. I went into labor a week earlier than that. By the time they got me into the OR I was almost 9 cm dilated. I could have easily pushed him out (the pain was very minimal), and I'm upset I didn't get the chance (especially since he was only 8lb, 4oz). I knew then that was going to be my last pregnancy, and I felt like I missed out on something all women should get the chance to experience. Again, though, I have two healthy kids. When my husband and I were going through the miscarriages and stillbirths, we would have given anything for a healthy baby, so I count my blessings each day- 7 for the babies who came before and left too early, but taught me to cherish the 2 babies that came after, and 2 for the babies who now remind me of the true meaning of the word "miracle".

Sharon - posted on 04/04/2010

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See it wasn't the c-sections that affected how you could bond with your child - it was the drugs. Those who had c-sections w/a spinal block... not affected by the drugs.

I had a natural birth and didn't get to hold my son seconds after birth either. He was rushed to NICU and was there for the next 7 days. Didn't stop my concern, love, etc for him.

I don't know exactly why some of you couldn't bond with your kids.. look at the "old" days when babies were born in gouts of blood, screaming, & no pain meds at all. Those stupid scenes in movies of women screaming their heads off are common for a reason. That was the way most births went, once upon a time. Didn't stop the moms from loving what they labored so hard to bring into this world.

Actually some women wear that painful birth badge with an awful lot of pride. kind of a like 10K marathon pin... "LOOK WHAT I DID!! AND IT HURT TOO!" nope, not the pain that stops you.

April - posted on 04/03/2010

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my c-section affected my ability to bond with my son...so drugged up that i really didn't know what was going on. it was awful...i felt like i was watching from really far away.



i was so sick too...i felt so detached and unloving. to this day i feel horribly guilty that i didn't get to hold my son seconds after birth and get that feeling of having the best thing ever happen to me.

Brandi - posted on 04/02/2010

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It depends on the woman and her baby.

For me, yes the c-section affected me profoundly. I wanted a natural childbirth. I went two weeks overdue, avoiding an induction that could raise the chances of my having a surgical birth. I was in labor for 20 hours with no drugs. My baby never even descended into the birth canal and I only dilated to 4cm after I was mechanically dilated to 3cm. The experience of having a baby in an OR is awful. It isn't the beautiful moment childbirth should be-you push your baby out and then they hand him or her to you immediately and you get to go home after a day or two. I gave birth to my baby in a cold OR with everyone wearing masks and a nasal cannula on my face giving me oxygen. It wasn't a birth experience, it was a medical procedure. The next 24 hours I can't even recall. I was woozy, swollen, yellow, and throwing up. I couldn't nurse my daughter. All I did was sleep and lay in my hospital bed and sweat. I smelled and I was too sick to even care. My husband took care of our baby all alone. It doesn't make sense to other people, but I'll never get rid of the guilt about that.

Her birth was very traumatic for me. Yes I know I have a healthy baby now and that is the most important thing. But it doesn't change how I feel. I can't explain why. Maybe it's because I felt like I deserved the experience of having a vaginal delivery and now I don't know if I ever will. I feel cheated, overwhelmed, and alone.

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I've had 2 natural births with no pain meds. what so ever & wouldn't have it any other way. It's supposed to hurt, look at whats happening. I wanted to feel it. Although, I must say both births for me were pretty fast & easy. I could understand getting a shot if I was trying to push for hrs & hrs on end..

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I had a natural birth with just gas and air and I was able to hug my son straight after his birth and he latched onto my breast 7 minutes after being born which really got the bonding process going. I think when there are complications either the baby needs help breathing after a normal delivery or a c-section has been performed the time to bond usually takes longer. My friend didn't see her baby for 3 hours! However, all that matters is that the baby is healthy!

Heather - posted on 02/21/2010

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I think my c-section did effect my ability to bond with my son, but that was just part of the problem. I went through years of infertility and got pregnant at 32. By this point, I was totally fine with never being a mommy, I had faced my reality and accepted it. So when that test came up positive, although I was so excited, it was really hard to accept. The pregnancy was touch and go in the beginning, the middle was wonderful, and the end was exciting...for everyone but me. I started getting depressed as the reality of everything hit me. I had my birth all planned out in my head, I wanted to BF immediately after birth, I had this "idea" of what you are supposed to feel after you give birth.

A week late, a failed induction, diabetic, and a supposed "big baby"...the cards were stacked against me and my Ideal birth plan, went out the window. After the c-section, and recovery, I was so doped up I dont even remember much...other than saying "wow those balloons are beautiful...and there were no balloons!" lol I tried to BF, but I couldnt focus enough to even try. Baby went to the nursery for the night, and mommy passed out. The depression got worse over the next week, I called my Dr...."baby blues" he said. After a month, I was put on meds....and finally started feeling like I loved my son (so hard to say that) It took me months to actually feel that overwhelming love that a mother has for her child. I knew I was supposed feel something, so I faked it, and it hurts me so much to say that. If it werent for his amazing father, who took such good care of both of us, I dont know how i would have made it through those first few months. FYI I love my 10 month old son more than words now :)

I cant blame my c-section for all of my bonding issues, obviously PPD played a huge role in it, but I think it may have compounded the situation. I also had some serious health issues following the birth of my son (MRSA in my incision, pre-eclampsia which can happen up to 6 weeks after birth...im a nurse and didnt know that, and then my son and I caught whooping cough) so as I dont think it was just the c-section, I think my disappointment in my birth experience played a roll.

So sorry for the novel lol I actually feel much better after typing all of that outloud :) thanks!

Amanda - posted on 02/21/2010

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I had a c-section whith my child because he was breech, but within 2 hours after my recovery he was at my bedside eating so i dont believe that there is less bonding just because of the way you have him. But thats just my opion i feel the bonding is already started from the moment you find out you are pregnant.

Celeste - posted on 02/21/2010

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I believe that a bonding is in the touch when you cant hold your baby, in talking to the baby, in breast feeding or bottle feeding but that you hold them close and even to begin that bonding when you find out you are pregnant. I am the mom of 7 and all were vag births but I have a high pain tolerance and a hist of short labor so didnt have time for pain meds and never had an episiotomy. Had a midwife with my first 2 and it was wonderful. Labored in a big tub of warm water with my 2nd for 2 hrs and delivered so all my experiences are really great memories. I have assisted in the delivery of babies and have seen moms struggle but have found a way to help them refocus and always helped them achieve the experience they hoped for as much as possible. My oldest daughter had er c-section and i was able to stay with her and help her with everything she needed, holding her baby, feeding, cleaning herself and baby. So when mom has help and support and room to stretch her own maternal muscle bonding happens. Educating yourself in all our adventures is key to being prepared for whatever might happen. I had an expectation of my Dr also. Keep a pregnancy diary and ask questions

Shelby - posted on 02/21/2010

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I was very up front and honest about my views on c-section and vag/birth...I was very young and didn't want the scar...When I was older,and my life and the life of my child was was in jeopardy and I FULLY understood that, I begged for a C-section...And I believe the traumatic childbirth that I had albeit natural was very hard on myself and my baby.

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I wanted a natural birth but that plan went to pieces when my son was born at 25 weeks gestation via an emerency c-section. I had no trouble bonding with my son but I had to learn different ways to bond. Most mothers get to hold their child right after birth, I had to wait for 3 weeks for my son to be strong enough so I could hold him for the first time. We bonded through the open portal door on the side of his incubator - I would reach in and hold his little hand or give him a 'hand hug' or read to him. I was thrilled when we were able to start kangaroo care, as that helped us bond even more. I do think how I gave birth did have a lasting effect on my child, he's still alive - he wasn't strong enough to survive a natural birth.

Melissa - posted on 02/21/2010

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I had a c-section after 18 hours of labor, obviously unplanned. I was upset by not being able to see my son until an hour after his birth. I really wanted to just hold him, but instead, they had to sew me up then send me off to recovery for half an hour. I absolutely hated it! For a few months after he was born I felt very guilty. But I know that without the option of surgery he, and possibly myself, may have died. I am now thankful for the c-section. I have a wonderful healthy 8 month old.

Krista - posted on 02/21/2010

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As long as you walk out of the hospital with a healthy baby, it doesn't matter whether he or she comes out of your vag, your belly, or your left nostril.

C. - posted on 02/21/2010

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No. I know several people that have had C-Sections and they are closer to their kids than some people I have met that went natural. It all just depends on the person, not HOW you bring your baby into the world.

Amy - posted on 02/19/2010

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I think natural (pain meds or not) is the best way to go, however if a c-section is needed then it's not THAT big of a deal.

The only thing I've heard bad is if you get pain meds, the baby may be groggy at first (I had pain meds but my son was wide awake).

The other thing is with c-sections, when you give birth it put's a curve in the baby's spine I guess. Then when they crawl they get another curve, and if they miss one or two when there older they *COULD* have back problems.

Honestly, I think I'd be scared if I had to have an epidural or any needle stuck in my back. I got pain meds via an IV the first time. I'm scared to death that I might need a c-section, and hope that I won't.

I don't think the bonding process is effected at all. Although the best thing I ever felt was when they put my little boy on my chest when they were cleaning him up, it was just so amazing.

Also, I was disappointed, when I breastfeed you were suposto feel this bond, I never did, I just dreaded it every time i had to feed! I switched to pumping exclusively and it was SO much better! So in terms of that, I think it differs from baby and mom.

Carolee - posted on 02/19/2010

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I think people get too focused on how they think it "should" be. The only way a baby's birth "should" go, is that the baby is born by the end of it. How it comes out and if someone uses pain meds should not be looked down upon by anybody. I had a vaginal delivery with an epidural. I also tore three ways and bled so much that I almost had to have a transfusion. I'm not against a c-section this time around... actually, I wasn't against it for the last 8-10 hours of my 24 1/2 hour labor with my son!!! As long as you get the baby out, that's all that matters.

Rosie - posted on 02/19/2010

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i think it might affect it if you let it, but only for short time. i know the thought of natural birth didn't appeal to me, but i was terrified of the epidural needle. i lasted until 8 cm. and they gave me one. best thing i ever did. i was in so much pain i was doing everything i could to couteract that pain, but it wasn't working (obviously) and my labor was slowing down because of it. so i took the epidural, and believe my labor was more productive because of it. in the hospital i wasn't made to feel like i was less of a person for taking the epidural, but when i joined COM, i definitely feel the wrath of natural birth mothers. i wouldn't do it differently though, and i don't feel like less of a mother at all. i chose epidurals for my last 2 births, and had great experiences as well. i could walk within minutes of giving birth, i could feel my contractions (just no pain) so i could effectively push, and all of my children were alert, happy, and NOT doped up with great apgar scores. i have no regrets at all. i bonded with them the instant i found out i was pregnant, and when they were put in my arms i couldn't have loved them more, not even if i did the whole birthing thing naturally.

i tried to breastfeed my first child and we couldn't get ahold of it. i was so frustrated, and felt like a terrible mother because we weren't getting a hang of what was supposed to be the most natural thing to do. my nipples were bleeding, he wasn't getting any food, and i felt he was just starving. i gave him formula, and the feeling of closeness with him was unreal. much better than the fumbling around with my breasts, mess that we made of breastfeeding. at first while trying to feed him, i felt like a horrible mother, and was petrified that we weren't going to continue with our bonding. but as soon as the bottle was introduced, that feeling went away, and the closeness and love grew. i don't regret my decision to bottle feed, and have done it with my 2 other children as well.



people who focus solely on natural birth or breastfeeding have tried to make me feel like i was doing something wrong, but i know that this works for me and have no doubts about what i'm doing. if they wanted a natural birth and got it and that makes them feel good, great, but don't tell me that i don't feel the same way because i chose an epidural.

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Ive only ever had vaginal births but ive seen the attitude towards people who have had c sections. I dont really think it matters its how you feel about your baby not how you deliver it.

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I was all about my natural (vaginal with epidural) birth, but then at 10 cm dilated and about ready to push, my water broke. And the baby was breech. Emergency c-section. I was crushed, but you know...it doesn't make a lick of difference now. I have a fantastic relationship with my daughter. I'm hoping to have a VBAC this next time around though. I would just like the experience of a vaginal birth. But having gone through one c-section, I know that if this next ends (or rather begins) the same way, all will still be well.

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I think some women just have a negative stigma about c-sections. I don't think that automatically makes them shallow though.



When I found out I was having twins I knew there was a very good chance that I would end up w/ a c-section. I still didn't want one though. I WANTED to go through the 'birth experience' the way that it 'should' be (all in quotes since I know the most important thing is the health of the child, not how he/she gets here). When the doctors said that a c-section would be in baby B's best interest I went through a wide range of emotions in a very short time. I was very disappointed and terrified about going through a c-section, but mostly I just wanted my babies to be ok. I was STILL disappointed, but in the end all that mattered was what was best for my girls.



I don't know if any of that made sense. I think I'm just rambling now.

Jenny - posted on 02/19/2010

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It's weird how some people are so adamant about natural birth. I chose a C section for my second child as I wanted to get my tubes tied at the same time. My female family members told me real women gave birth the old fashoined way and that I was missing out on something. They could not fathom why it wasn't important for me to get the baby out via vagina. Considering one of them tore from vagina to anus with one baby I don't think I missed a thing lol. IMO contractions are highly overrated.

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