Question #2 was simply, Your cesarean birth was:

Elective or planned     14.8% 118
Unplanned (example – labor not progressing)   39.5%   316
Emergency (mother or baby’s life at risk)  21.0%   168
First was unplanned cesarean, subsequent births also cesarean   15.1%   121
First birth was emergency cesarean, VBAC attempted for other births  5.6%  45
Always attempted vaginal birth, some resulted in cesarean    3.9%   31


The majority of women in this case did not opt for their cesarean, nor did they have an emergent situation. Many failure to progress answers, which in some cases (in my experience) has been failure to wait on the part of the provider. I certainly cannot speak for all the women who did answer this survey, but I can share some comments that were left.

While all these comments are not directly related to failure to progress, these are the ones I found to be most interesting, telling, and helpful when looking into the statistics we obtained, and the mothers experiences.

One mother, Tammy, shared her experience and said;

Always attempted vaginal birth, all resulted in cesareans, first for supposed CPD (cephalopelvic disproportion) was actually a damn golf game, second was fetal distress.

Another mother shares;

Reason : OB’s Failure to Wait

Which like I stated above, and in my own first cesarean experience seemed to be the case. I still stand by my comments that if Doctors are so concerned about their personal lives, as well as their schedules, and time, they should clearly choose a different medical specialty, because babies come when they please, not on your clock.

A great video and example of failure to wait in a stalled labor, and how to avoid it …

Then we have the women who were given no choice, as we are seeing nationally with forced cesarean sections due to providers who do not offer VBAC services, VBAC Bans in hospitals, and some horrible hospital policies.

In response to these policies, several news organizations are covering the National Institute of Health’s new statement on VBAC and VBAC access.As one mother shares,

“first medical interference, second forced unnecessary”

then we have Vicki  with a slightly different experience,

First due to hospital policy, then VBAC, then crash c-section at 33 weeks placenta praevia and accreta – result of prior Cesareans”.

The situations being slightly different as previa and accreta are truly necessary and scary reasons for a cesarean delivery.  But what we are seeing with the increase in cesarean deliveries is  the increase in problems like Vicki did experience. Higher numbers of placenta issues, which can be very dangerous.

Another mother, who wished to remain nameless shared her story and said

“my first cesarean was coerced, and all subsequent births were VBAC’s.”

This stood out to me almost as much as a couple other quotes left for mothers regarding provider issues that caused their cesarean.

First cesarean was caused by medical interference, second was forced and medically unnecessary”
Unplanned Cesarean, provider lied to me and told me it was an emergency cesarean, but my medical records showed an “elective” cesarean. My second baby was a HBAC (Homebirth after Cesarean)

While many of us do not want to admit that providers do these things, in some cases it is fact, sadly enough. Another reason women really need to be their own advocates in the maternity care climate today.

While all the mothers who participated in our survey have had c-sections, not all of them were negative situations, or even medically necessary as we have seen in some of the above comments. When a cesarean is necessary, like I have always said, it is an amazing and lifesaving procedure, and we wouldn’t have the backlash of cesareans today if they were not overused.

Angela, a mother of two children elected for a cesarean with her third child

first two were difficult vaginal births, was told related to the large size of third baby c-section was required.”

And another mother shared

one for fetal destress, one because of craniosynostosis

There are many different types of cesareans, some life saving, and some that do nothing more than compromise the future reproductive health for out mothers.

…The Cesarean Feelings Survey was created by two cesarean moms; Danielle Elwood, birth advocate, doula, and aspiring childbirth educator, and Theresa Shebib co-founder of