Breast vs bottle, co-sleeping vs cry it out, natural birth vs c-section. Moms are always being judged by others regarding their choices on how they feed their child, raise their child, and yes, even how they deliver their child. There has long been a stigma surrounding women who have delivered via a cesarean section that they didn’t actually ‘labor’ and that they took ‘the easy way out.’ It was long rumored that women, often celebrities, who were deemed ‘too posh to push’ scheduled their c-sections around their tummy tuck so they wouldn’t have to go through physically demanding labor. Women who have had to have cesareans know that not only are they just as physically demanding as labor, but the recovery time is often worse than with vaginal labor.
British actress Gemma Atkinson was recently forced to defend herself after a woman joked that her c-section birth was “the easy option.” She explained in a recent Instagram post that while the woman was clearly joking with her comment, it caused the new mom to wonder if she "didn’t experience 'proper labor'". She wrote, "Had I failed? Had I not done it “properly”? After a good chat with myself i came to the conclusion that the only “proper” way to have a baby is the way that’s safest for you and your baby."
Atkinson was forced to have an emergency c-section while delivering daughter Mia after the infant’s heart rate continued to drop during contractions. The new mom also explained that after she delivered her daughter, she suffered a very large hemorrhage that further contributed to her traumatic labor. Needless to say, there was nothing about her labor that was "easy."
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This picture was taken when Mia was 30hrs old. The weary smile on my face doesn’t quite portray how happy I was inside as 30hrs earlier, things could have gone very differently. Mia was a tiny baby, 4lb 10. With that in mind the midwife was concerned she wouldn’t be strong enough to open my cervix. My water broke on a tues & we gave her the benefit of the doubt but by the Wednesday evening despite her being in the perfect place & so low down, she still hadn’t managed it. The decision was made to induce me to help her along but she disliked that even more. With every contraction her heart rate dropped. On the 3rd one midwife Katie who was taking care of me at the time pressed the panic alarm & within 15 mins I was rushed out, prepped & delivered Mia via an emergency C section. It wasn’t what I’d planned but thanks to my hypnobirthing despite the madness & panic, I was able to calmly keep my breathing technique & accept whatever is best for Mia just do it! 2hrs later I was alone with Gorks & Mia blissfully happy in a ward when I suddenly felt extremely unwell. Gorka got a doctor and she took 1 look at me & again pressed the panic button. I was having a hemorrhage. A big one & I lost a lot of blood. I don’t remember much other than having around 9 doctors in the room, some injecting me, hooking me to drips, physically pulling clots out of me & one comforting Gorks who was beside himself in the corner. I woke in another room with Gorks & my family there, Mia sleeping soundly & a lovely midwife named Di who was checking my notes. The trauma was over & thanks to our NHS & incredible hospital staff we were ok. I’m fully aware for some people it’s a different outcome & I feel incredibly lucky that me & Mia are healthy & healed. My mum moved in with me while Gorks was away & has been incredible! If I can be half the mum she is to me I’ll be happy! I’m going to remind Mia of this story any time she has doubts about what she can achieve in life. The odds were against her from the start, but she’s been a little fighter from day 1. Feeds perfectly & is gaining weight like I do on an all inclusive holiday! We’re SO proud of her, she’s our little soldier & I’m so Grateful ❤️
She went on to write that the myth that one method of delivering a baby is easier than the other is just that, a myth. "There is nothing easy about having a section. There is nothing easy about a vaginal delivery. They are both tiring, scary, emotionally draining and each have their own recovery process both mentally & physically. However you brought your baby into the world was right for you and your baby at that time and that’s what matters."
The actress posted a quote that shows that c-sections are definitely not an “easy” choice when it comes to childbirth, and can often mean the difference between life and death for both baby and mom. "Cut me open," the quote begins. "I love my baby so much, that I will do anything to get my baby out of my body alive. Lay me out, cut me open because I love my baby so much. That is courage. That is bravery and sacrifice and mothering in its purest form. That is the willingness to lay down your body and risk your life that your child might be born, that your child might live."
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A lady recently joked with me that id had the easy option when it came to having Mia as I didn’t experience “proper labour” she wasn’t being nasty, she said it in jest and she was actually really lovely, but it did get me thinking when I got home. Had I failed? Had I not done it “properly” ? After a good chat with myself i came to the conclusion that the only “proper” way to have a baby is the way that’s safest for you and your baby. There is nothing easy about having a section. There is nothing easy about a vaginal delivery. They are both tiring, scary, emotionally draining and each have their own recovery process both mentally & physically. However you brought your baby into the world was right for you and your baby at that time and that’s what matters. To any mums who like me, had to have a section and are feeling a little odd about it (which is normal) the above is for you. ❤️
Atkinson addressed any of her followers that may have been made to feel like they, too, didn’t experience a “proper labor” because they had a c-section. "To any mums who like me, had to have a section and are feeling a little odd about it (which is normal) the above is for you," she concluded her post.
Over 42,000 people have ‘liked’ the actresses post so far, with many sharing their own birth experience stories.
"Only a woman who has never had a c-section would make such a ridiculous comment, easy way out," wrote one commenter. "There is nothing 'easy' about Caesareans," began another commenter. "You still bleed, you get edema in the legs, you have to have suppositories to help your bowels, you have a catheter inserted, you have to try and lift & nurse your baby while not ripping your stitches out plus the general swelling, soreness & recovery that comes from any surgical procedure. Anyone who says it's easy has obviously not been through it. I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone."
No matter how you do it, having a child is hard and there is no "easy" way to do it. Bravo Gemma!