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Twitter Celeb on c-sections not being "real" births

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Mamas.

 

Today I'm celebrating my first mother's day. I'm having a good time. It is close to the birthday of my babe, it will be his first. A year ago I had an unplanned cesarean. I am processing a lot. But I am still having a beautiful day. I hope you all are too.

 

I wanted to come here to share about tweet I saw from celebrity Ken Jennings today. Yeah, the Jeopardy champion. He actually has a really robust twitter following. Who knew?

 

Anyway, today he made a crack on Twitter about cesarean moms. I know he was being flip and sarcastic. But still. This stung. This is what he said:

 

"Pretty sweet deal how I was born c-section so I don't have to call my mom today or anything. #loopholes"

 

I get he's probably not really thinking this. I know. But still. I didn't like this. The reason is that I feel like this attitude is pervasive in our culture already. As a c-section mom, I feel like I've had countless instances where people have asked me if I feel like I really "gave birth." And I just think, why do you keep asking me that? Because you don't think it's real? Because it falls into some no man's land of birth you can't fathom? Yes, I did give birth. Yes, I am a mom too. Sheesh.

 

I recently met a mom whose best friend is starting out as a doula. After her first birth as doula, this mama said, "how was it?" The doula said, "oh it ended in a c-section so it doesn't really count."  ...what??

 

Anyway, I just find jokes like Jennings's and attitudes like that doula's to be so disappointing, but very real in our culture. I'm so bummed to have read this. It's not going to get my day down. I won't let it! :) But still, I just had to share with some people I thought might understand why I think this is basically the worst and lamest joke ever. I tweeted back and said basically that. But I'm not sure what that's really worth. Just wish these statements and jokes people make wouldn't go unchallenged. Because they are so hurtful to those of us who've struggled to process our cesareans and who often feel kind of like we don't belong or something.

post #2 of 9

Jennings thing is pretty dratted obnoxious.  It reduces the entire, decades-long, unremitting effort of raising a child to a single act... and then pretends that obstetrical surgery is some kind of Free Pass to the circus.

 

And the doula?  Seriously?  "Didn't count" for who?  Is she in this to support women as they bear children, or to groove on other people's experiences?

post #3 of 9

The doula remark is way more disturbing to me than the twitter post of a smug jerk.

 

In terms of the doula remark...is there something that says that doulas-in-training have to attend a certain number of vaginal births in order to complete their education? Does anyone know? Why wouldn't a c-section "count" towards doula training?

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

The doula remark is way more disturbing to me than the twitter post of a smug jerk.

 

In terms of the doula remark...is there something that says that doulas-in-training have to attend a certain number of vaginal births in order to complete their education? Does anyone know? Why wouldn't a c-section "count" towards doula training?

yes, with DONA, you can only have 1 of your certifying births be a c-section.

 

 

http://www.dona.org/develop/birth_cert.php

Provide doula service to a minimum of three (3) clients. All births submitted for certification must take place after attending the DONA approved birth doula workshop and after purchasing the birth doula certification packet. The births documented must meet the criteria outlined in your certification packet, including, but not limited to:

  • Labor support must begin before or at the onset of the active phase of labor. For certification purposes, active labor will be considered four (4) centimeters.
  • The number of labor support hours for all three (3) submitted births must total a minimum of fifteen (15) hours.
  • Your presence as the birth doula must be continuous.
  • You must remain for the birth of the baby to provide immediate postpartum support.
  • Every vaginal exam must be documented on the Birth Record Sheet’s Labor Progression Chart.
  • Cesarean births may account for only one (1) of the three (3) required birth experiences.

 

For each of the three (3) births submitted for certification, include a:
A. Client Confidentiality Release Form (pdf)
B. DONA International Birth Record Sheet (pdf)
C. Typewritten (500-700 word) account of each birth (pdf)
D. Good evaluation from your client, the laboring mother (pdf)
E. Good evaluation from the primary care provider; plus each physician evaluation must be accompanied by a nurse evaluation (pdf)

post #5 of 9

I'm not real happy with those certification requirements either then. 

 

I'd feel better if they wanted the experiences to include at least one vaginal delivery AND one c-section.  It just seems like those requirements are likely to leave a lot of doulas without training or experience in helping mothers through c-sections, and consequently to leave a lot of mothers in the lurch.

post #6 of 9

OP I am sorry you were hurt by those remarks.  I am a doula who has only given birth via cesarean (the first was scheduled for fetal macrosomia the second was a CBAC after having to fight to get a TOL.

 

Both those comments are terrible.  We certainly count as mothers because giving birth is only one part of mothering (and what about adoptive mothers, foster mothers, they are still mothers) and having a cesarean often means having major abdominal surgery for the wellbeing of your child, how is that not mothering?  My first doula client ended up with a cesarean as well, as it was I was unable to count it towards my certification because it didn't fit the criteria (and I find that the hospital does not allow doulas to serve women well during cesareans.  I have never been allowed to support a mom in the OR and if the cesarean happens after visiting hours I have not been allowed to see her in recovery or in the post partum room).  I did make sure she was prepared for it as best I could and followed up and saw her as soon as I possibly could, as I have done with my other clients who had cesareans.

post #7 of 9

Thanks for sharing that information, roadfamily6now!

 

Wow, I'm trying to wrap my head around this. Having a doula for my looonnnggg labor was really important to me, and was definitely one of the better parts of my birth experience, even though I ended up with a c-section. And my doula worked her butt off for me. My labor involved 2 nights in a row with almost no sleep. I had back labor and needed a lot of "hands-on" work throughout my entire labor, even once I got pain meds and epidural. If a doula isn't learning how to work with clients through experiences like that, then they aren't prepared to be of huge value to the women who arguably need them the most.

post #8 of 9

I follow him on Twitter too and he says a lot of stupid and gross stuff.  I've been contemplating dropping him.  I missed that tweet because I wasn't online last weekend.

post #9 of 9

Those comments are terrible, and people shouldn't be asking you questions like "do you feel it was a real birth?" But, with respect to this:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Partaria View Post

 

As a c-section mom, I feel like I've had countless instances where people have asked me if I feel like I really "gave birth." And I just think, why do you keep asking me that? Because you don't think it's real? Because it falls into some no man's land of birth you can't fathom?


Maybe it's because they've known other women who felt that way, and they're genuinely curious. I have four living children, and one who died during labour and was taken by c-section in an unsuccessful attempt to save his life, which makes five "births". But, I've never given birth...not once. I'm just as bothered by people saying I have, as you are by people saying you haven't.  I'm always kind of curious about how other people feel about their c-sections, because mine have been absolutely devastating. I think I have enough tact and awareness that I wouldn't ask someone something like that, but if I were that clueless, it wouldn't be coming from a place of not thinking it's real. It would come from a place of not being able to understand how women feel that way about it. I've heard the stories of hundreds of c-section moms, and a significant number of them feel that they gave birth. That's something so foreign to my own feelings about it that I'm torn between trying to avoid the topic completely, and trying to understand how/why other women feel that way. I'm happy for them/you that my feelings aren't universal - I've just never been able to wrap my brain around it.

 

So...maybe some of these people have heard women who feel the way I do talk about it, and are simply wondering if you feel the same way, yk?

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