A practical guide to the before, during, and after of an incredibly common way to have a baby.
There are so many ways to have a C, and so many ways to feel about one. There are five moms on the edit team at Romper, with nine babies between us — six of those babies came into the world via C-section. Collectively, we've experienced the whole spectrum: Some were emergencies; some were scheduled; some were preemies; some were followed by a VBAC; some were born after hours and hours (and hours) of labor, labor that was labeled with that phrase that some of us find quite rude: "failure to progress."
One thing we all had in common, though, was the feeling that we weren't prepared.
Sure, "no one can prepare you" for what it's like to become a parent, but I think we spent more time in my childbirth class discussing the analgesic powers of aromatherapy than we did on C-sections, despite the fact that 31.7% of American babies are born this way.
It's an experience shared by roughly 1 in 3 mothers and other people who have given birth — 1,186,397 were performed in 2019 in the United States alone — and yet it feels like 90% of the conversations around the procedure are debates about its medical necessity or advice about how to avoid one. What if we talked, instead, about what having a C-section is really like: What happens during, how to prepare for it, tips for recovery? If you know you're going to have a C-section, shouldn't it be the best C-section possible? We want that for you.
Read more about the C-section survey we conducted and why we need to change the conversation around C-sections.
When your surgery is planned — or you have at least a little notice — you get the gift of time: to prepare, logistically and emotionally, but also to celebrate. You’ve grown a whole human, and you will meet them very soon! Here's how 12 prospective parents chose to live it up in the days and hours leading up to their scheduled C-sections.
Secret C-Section Intel From People Who Have Been There
They shave your pubes (and other things no one tells you).
The Most Common Reasons You Might Have A C-Section
Top OB-GYNs explain what conditions can lead to surgery.
Yes, You Can Still Make A "Birth Plan" For A C-section
Here are a few things to ask your OB-GYN about before your due date
What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag For A Scheduled C-Section
Advice from medical professionals and people who've been through it.
The Ultimate C-Section Recovery Shopping Guide
To make the first days and weeks a bit more comfortable.
12 Moms On The Surprising Joy Of Their C-Sections
Cesareans get a bad rep, but they come with many unsung benefits — beyond, you know, getting the baby out.
Everyone Should Make A Postpartum Plan
A birth plan is one thing, but planning for how you will get through those first few weeks at home might be more important
Hello From The Other Side
A totally mom-centric guide to physical and emotional recovery.
"You Won’t Bond With Your Baby" And 5 More C-Section Myths That Need To Go
People tend to have a lot of thoughts and opinions, and most of them are wrong.
How To Reclaim Your C-Section & Own Your Birth Story In All Its Glory
It’s OK to feel all sorts of ways about your birth.