Because of the overwhelming amount of comments that we received on question #5 on the Post Cesarean Feelings Survey, I felt the need to split up not only the results, but the comments into two categories because they were clearly so powerful, moving, and telling of the current maternity care system as well as the trauma some women are facing during their birth experiences.
Just as a refresher question #5 was:
Would you describe your experience as :
Wonderful – 27.7% – 227 Mothers
Empowering – 7.4% – 61 Mothers
Frustrating – 26.7% – 219 Mothers
Traumatic – 46.8% – 384 Mothers
Disappointing – 45.5% – 373 Mothers
41 Mothers Skipped this question
479 left a comment with their answer
479 comments = 20 pages of comments I took nearly two days to read through, and decide which comments would be more appropriate for including in our blog posts on the survey itself.
If you are sensitive, some of these comments may be a trigger for you, or shocking, please read carefully, and exit if they become too much.
“The admitting hospital staff was awful, and I had mentally prepared for a natural birth, having drugs pushed on me and to end up having a C/S was upsetting.” – Wanda
“My first birth was pre-term after hospital mismanagement, leading into probably the worst three months of my life as I had three babies in NICU and I KNEW the hospital was to blame for it.”
“OB spent the last 15 minutes of labor convincing my husband how dangerous it was to continue pushing despite the fact that I had refused the section 3x and I had known of the risks but was comfortable with continued pushing despite HR accelerations. I had been at this for 26 hrs and didn’t want to give in at the last 15 mins. Hubby had been completely supportive up until the OB keep hounding him and refused to participate in my pushing efforts unless I could get the baby to crowning in 1 more push.”
“Multiple infections, complications, loss of control, hospital staff didn’t listen or support, PTSD afterwards, negative effects on baby and bonding” – Kayte
“Had no idea baby was over 9 lbs. Dr. policy not to vaginally deliver over 9.”
“I was frustrated with my doctor that she wasn’t paying attention to the fact that my first daughter was breech until it was too late to get her to turn. My 2nd was traumatic because of the uterine rupture and losing my baby’s heartbeat for a time right before delivery. My 3rd c-section was my best because I had the best care and doctors.” – Corrina
“Felt disjointed, like my daughter was not my own because I didn’t birth her” – Mellissa
“I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because I was coerced into an unwanted, unnecessary cesarean” – Kristen
“Treated like crap at the hospital, had no say in anything, I was uninformed and scared, they rushed me and pumped me with Pitocin and eventually cut me” – Erin
“The operation was horrific and my baby died.” – Diana”
“Felt as if control over my body was taken from me and I was powerless and weak.”
“I enjoyed labor to the point of my caregivers deciding I was no longer progressing, at which point they took over and I felt like a failure, and that I hadn’t been given the opportunity to do what I felt I needed to do. There was no emergency, just impatience on their part.” – Hannah
“I knew I wanted natural but got talked into every intervention with “do you want your baby to die” as the reason. Of course my answer was no but with no education I assumed the Doctors knew more.”
“I wish I had been better informed about the risks of c/s delivery.”
“I cannot deny that I was in the hands of some of the best hospital staff ever. I was made fully aware of the procedure and the after effects. I had good care following the surgery. But the differences in my life and the way I handled the Cesarean birth compared to my firstborn (who was a natural homebirth) was incredibly hard. I am still healing from all of it 17 months later, and I still have pain in my incision site on a regular basis. I will always be in fear of birthing another child for fear I won’t be able to control the birth process and will have to have a repeat C/S.” – Jill
“It was induction at 39 weeks for no reason, artificial water breaking, pitocin, laying in bed, epidural and very little progress after 17 hours. I was uneducated and thought the OB and hospital knew what they were doing. I was wrong.” – Lisa
“It has ruined me”
“Labour was a battle ground with no communication between OBs and Hospital Staff. Non-evidence based care where my labour was pushed to a point where my baby’s heartrate became critical.”
“There was no emergency – I was fully conscious and felt wonderful – I just timed out. I had drugs forced upon me that I didn’t need, an epidural was forced upon me as well with”You’re getting tired” and I WAS NOT TIRED. The epidural has left nerve damage in my vagina that continues 11 years after the cesarean. For a normal physiological process to be taken out of my hands, and “needing to be
controlled” is utterly ludicrous and a complete blow to my womanhood.”
“I never imagined I would end up with a cesarean, I never even read the chapter in the pregnancy books.”
“Being coerced into a cesarean because the OB had somewhere to be has made me lose all faith in the medical profession. It was traumatic, degrading and unnecessary.” – Mari
“Insensitive medical team (made rude remarks), not fully aware of options during operation and suffered with reaction to epidural, inadequate support post operative for breastfeeding.”
“I was scared into having a c-s because my OB said I was going to be having a “big baby.” I had a c-s at 39 weeks and my daughter was a very normal 7 lbs 13 oz. I never even got a chance to have a trial of labor.”
“I was disrespected and no one cared about my needs or wants. It was more about the hospital’s experience then mine.”
“I felt dehumanized as all the hospital staff poked and prodded my naked body around me without acknowledging my humanity. I lost all dignity in that moment. It was scary and horrific.”
“Currently suffer from P.T.S.D. from birth, rude Ob who took over, no communication during surgery and newborn exam, thought baby was near death turned out a medical student was practicing weighing and measuring newborn, before I’d even seen him.”
“Felt ignored, belittled. OB’s ignored me during surgery, no one told me what was going on. Was separated from my son for 3 hours after the c/s.”
“I did not want a CS, epidural. Was asked if I wanted my baby to die.”
“Started with well informed, educated, empowered couple trying to birth, wound up with Failure to Wait doctor and staff wielding scapels, seemingly unknowing what this would do to me forever.”
“The hospital staff & doctor were assuring me that a c-sectoon was the right thing or else my baby and I would die because he would get stuck coming out the “other” way and there was no way they could get him out then. During the surgery they talked about Ikea furniture and their wedding rings ignoring me when I told them I needed to throw up as a result I threw up on the floor & someones shoes which they were quick to pony out were brand new.”
“My babies were kept from me even though they were healthy. Didn’t get to nurse them until 4 days old. Felt physically and emotionally incapable to care for both of them and myself post surgery.”
“I felt like an utter failure, felt like I was dying”
“What birth Experience? I had a c-section”
“Once I gave in to the 1st section, I was run through the mill as if I was only a slab of meat. No one paid human attention to me, talked to me, etc. except for one sweet nurse intern who took pity on my pleas & came held my hand.”
“I didn’t get to hold my baby right away, I heard the doctors say whoops! we can fix that!, and my DH got so scared and sick he wasn’t able to be in the room with me “
“I have always felt that my birth was a traumatic experience bc of the complete lack of control I felt throughout the process and the repeated dismissal of my feelings by attending OB along with other inappropriate statements made during the delivery by OB.”
“Bad recovery, devastating unnecessary cesarean due to ridiculous hospital protocols”
“HATED the feeling of being vivisected and paralyzed. Felt clinical, not maternal.”
“Based on my doc’s history of high cesearan rates I couldn’t trust that he did all possible before demanding a cesarean”
“I was lied to, manipulated, and rushed into surgery. There was no emergency, they just wanted me cut open before my doula could get there to remind me that I still had options.”
Most of these comments really speak for themselves.
No woman should be made to feel like so many of these women felt, and were treated, no matter what kind of birth they are having.
Remember, these were the most extreme out of almost 500 comments.
I can say I look forward to writing up the positive experiences as I need some kind of relief of the negative comments that were left on the survey.
… The Cesarean Feelings Survey was created by two cesarean moms; Danielle Elwood, Doula, Momotics.com and Theresa Shebib co-founder of Advertisme