Oh, Congratulations! There's a new baby to cherish! No matter how he or she was brought into the world, a newborn is such a wonderful gift. For mom, birthing a little one into the world can be a pretty tremendous act, which is just one more reason that the delivery method should be heavily considered. And what's more, is that regardless of the delivery method mom chooses, she will be forever changed for one reason or another once the baby has arrived.
From the physical to the emotional, we have listed a few of the ways that mom will be different forever when it comes to natural or C-section birth. Some of the ways may come as a surprise, while some of these ways are among those best-kept secrets that only a truly seasoned mom will know about.
We asked the docs and listened to what a few famous moms had to say and have compiled these 20 things. So, trying to figure out which delivery method is best? Or maybe the permanent effects of childbirth just seem super intriguing, or perhaps the inside scoop is just too good to resist, either way, welcome to the right place. Read on.
20 She Will Have Had Real Surgery
Unlike mothers who give birth naturally, moms who deliver their little ones via C-section will have undergone real surgery. That means that for the rest of moms life when doctors ask if she's ever had surgery or been hospitalized, her C-section can go on the list. This can alter the types of procedures moms can have or what types of things doctors will look out for and perhaps even how they will diagnose you for certain ailments. Most doctors say the reason they ask about prior surgeries is to see if you have any allergies to anesthesia, according to USNews.com, however, after a C-section mom will have to reveal that bit of info.
19 Permanently Scarred
Women who deliver via C-section will have a permanent scar that no amount of anti-scar gel will ever heal and every mom should wear that with pride. The only thing is, it will be there forever. It's kind of like a constant reminder of where her most precious moment came from and how far she and her little bundle of joy have come, but the scar—much like the event itself—will mark her for the rest of her existence. There can be a lot of beauty in being permanently scarred, though many moms have difficulty adjusting to the idea in the beginning.
18 After A C-Section, The Back Pain Is Real
According to the National Institutes of Health, women who deliver via C-section are 44 percent more likely to experience some form of back pain for the rest of their lives. Perhaps it's due to the spinal tap, perhaps it's the size of the baby and the laying down during surgery, perhaps it's the surgery, the cause has yet to be found, but the study is pretty conclusive. In general, having a baby will go pretty hard on mom's back, having a baby via C-section will go even harder. There are ways to cope, though, exercise, massage, and specialists can help.
17 C-Sections Can Be Felt Down To The Core
After a C-section, your core muscles are bound to shift a little or a lot, depending on the person and the specifics of your surgery, but one way or the other moms' core is going to have quite the workout. Even for Beyoncé, getting a C-section caused her to feel really out of sorts, especially since the star is known for her six-pack abs. "After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery. Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery. I am not sure everyone understands that. I needed time to heal, to recover."
16 Natural Vs. Meds
If you give birth naturally, you get to decide whether or not you want meds, if you deliver by C-section, though, you have no choice. Receiving meds is no longer optional for moms who get a C-section, and the pain meds required after delivery is barely optional as well. The discomfort following a C-section without any pain meds rivals that of being hit in the lower abdomen by an elephant over and over again. Most doctors say that pain will only last several days, but according to Right Step, mothers are being prescribed more and more pain meds which can lead to a lifetime of addiction.
15 WTH Is A 'Real Birth'?
You've probably heard of the mom's groups and forums that discuss the long drawn out labor process. You've probably also heard women who say that women who give birth by cesarean didn't have a "real birth." Well, moms who had a C-section also had a real birth regardless of what you may have heard. For most of a mom's life after baby, she may feel the need to defend her right to be considered a woman that had a "real birth," yes, even if she scheduled her C-section and had no labor pain whatsoever. The bottom line is that when a real baby comes into the world mom had a real birth.
14 The Kind Of Birth One Never Forgets
There's just something about natural births, maybe it's the out-of-body experiences many women say they experience or the pain of labor, or just feeling hoisted up and on display. But for many, it is a memory no woman will surely ever forget. It is something she will keep with her for life. For mothers like Nora Ephron that was exactly the case, "Why do people always say you forget the pain of labor? I haven’t forgotten the pain of labor. Labor hurt. It hurt a lot. The fact that I am not currently in pain and cannot simulate the pain of labor doesn’t mean I don’t remember it."
13 Natural Birth Can Change Mom's Zone Forever
We know you've heard stories of women who deliver naturally and how their mom's zone can look and feel a bit used after birth is over. And for a small percentage of moms, these changes whether physical or aesthetic don't ever really go back to how things were. According to LuVerda C. Martin, a Certified Nurse Midwife at Aurora Obstetrics, "during natural delivery, skin and tissue around mom's area will stretch and may tear as the baby moves down through birth canal. If tearing occurs, mom may need stitches." The stitches, stretching, or tearing can result in some pretty permanent changes.
12 C-Section: Again And Again
Although VBAC (natural births after C-sections) are possible, in fact, UT Southwestern Medical Center says that VBAC is growing in commonality, with as many as 60 percent success rates in women who attempt them, the norm is still to get another C-section for baby number two if mom wants a second child after delivering via cesarean the first time around. If mom has had two C-sections, she is pretty much opted out of ever delivering naturally for risk of uterine rupture. So like the old saying goes, "Once a C-section always a C-section," more or less. And depending on if mom wants another baby, that will affect her for the rest of her life.
11 Anyone See A Belly Button?
So one thing is for sure, when it comes to talking about childbirth, mom has heard at least one point or another that parts of her body are bound to be moved about or slightly shifted beyond where she remembers them being before. One thing many mothers or doctors don't speak about is the fact that your bellybutton could very well relocate itself. Something that's actually more common during C-section, due to the abdominal changes moms face. “Depending what changes happen to your abdominal wall, you may or may not notice a difference in your belly button,” Lauren Streicher, M.D.
10 After Natural Birth Mom Will Have Different Skin
Different skin? Yes, you read that correctly. After having a natural delivery, mom will have some pretty intense sag, we know this sounds like it may be pregnancy related, and it is, for the most part, but when mom delivers naturally her skin is even less likely to go back into place than moms who deliver via c-section. This is due to the ab muscles used when pushing the baby, many moms stop using the lower abs after such an intense workout — pushing out the baby can make a pouch of skin develop and can be a pain to get rid of, some of them can last a lifetime, fitness coach Sia Cooper explains.
9 Too Many People Have An Opinion On C-Sections
Everyone has their opinions about C-sections. The faces full of sympathy or surprise when mom reveals that she delivered via C-section are bound to follow mom around for a lifetime. As a general rule, for most of moms life, she will be met with unexpectant faces from all those around her. We get it already! There's a not so great association when people hear C-section. But guess what? They happen.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 32 percent of births in the US are delivered by cesarean. So enough already. We get it! Since they are so common, maybe it's time to nod with acceptance instead of staring with a look of concern.
8 If You Plan A Natural Birth, Get Over Fallen Plans
It can take years to cope when the birth plan doesn't work out. And that let down has the potential to make mom different for the rest of her life. Setting up a birth plan is a great way for the prepared mom to make sure she has all her ducks in a row in order to make sure she brings the baby into the world exactly how she feels comfortable. The thing is, there can be a lot of unexpected things that can happen during birth, especially a natural birth, and even more so with a home birth. Getting over best-laid plans is something that many moms work on for the rest of her life.
7 Natural Birth Badge Of Honor
There's just something incredibly awesome about moms who can deliver naturally, it's a badge of honor that mom can carry with them through life – even Snooki thinks so, "[Moms who give birth without an epidural] are my hero. You are amazing. You are freakin’ awesome. I don’t know how you do it, but you do and you survive and you’re stronger because of it. Dude, I give you all the props in the world, because me, I cannot take that pain. I was literally dying. I was trying to breathe and, you know, be calm, but it just feels like there are a million knives stabbing you in the uterus and you can’t do it,” she said.
6 Natural Birth Can Be A Wee Bit Uncontrollable
It's only science, natural birth can make moms bladder go haywire. In other words, have fun sneezing, laughing, coughing, or lifting without letting just a bit of pee out moms who deliver naturally. Of course, there are several solutions available on the market like Kegels and things to work mom's muscles to build up a bit more control, but bladder control is a complaint many moms have for life.
According to The Cleveland Clinic, incontinence is really common, but even more so for women who have had a natural birth and unfortunately, it can be a problem that lasts a lifetime.
5 How She Tells Her Birth Story
Women who deliver naturally typically have a better birth story than those who deliver with a C-section. This is because C-sections are usually either scheduled, thus anticlimactic, or unnerving because of some complication. Natural births are the ones mom gets to share at her son or daughters wedding, saying that she pushed and pushed and finally she saw them for the first time and it was beautiful (insert applause here).
Seriously though, C-sections can sort of take away mom's thunder in the birth story department. Sure, mom will be thrilled to see her little one, but once that spinal tap kicks in she's pretty much just laying on a table.
4 C-Section And The Emotional Aftermath
Let's face it, things can get pretty emotional after birth, but as it turns out, statistically, things get even more emotional for women who deliver via c-section. Even actress Kate Winslet said she felt pretty down about her C-section for a while. "Mia was an emergency C-section. I just said I had a natural birth because I was so completely traumatized by the fact that I hadn’t given birth. I felt like a complete (let down). My whole life, I’d been told I had great child-bearing hips… There’s this thing amongst women that if you can handle childbirth you can handle anything."
3 Natural Birth = Total Warrior Woman
When moms choose the natural birth route, it makes her a total warrior woman. Some moms feel an invincibility that completely changes their lives when they choose to deliver naturally. When moms become moms the strength they feel can propel them to make life-changing decisions that they otherwise would not have done, like one mom Jenny R, "I pushed out my son in two minutes, so it didn’t last long. After it was over, I felt like a superhero. Like I could do anything. I was on a high for days. It was painful, but if I did choose to have another baby, I would choose meds-free again in a heartbeat."
2 Natural Birth: Makes Mom A People Person
When you're in that birthing suite and you are in labor for hours and hours, most moms really need someone in the room with them that they can count on. Whether it's to provide a pep talk or cool compress, that birth partner is key to a smooth as possible birth for some moms. Natural births just turn moms into people, people. It's true. There is a special bond that is formed when someone sees mom at her strongest, most fragile, and pushed to her limit afterward that person pretty much becomes your rock and with all luck, that relationship will last for the rest of moms life.
1 Natural Births Allow Mom To Heal And Get Stronger
Natural births have statistically been easier on mom when it comes to healing and strength later on in life. Many women report feeling some twinges of discomfort even years after getting C-sections, with natural births moms heal better, longer. For mom Courtien who wanted to deliver naturally, C-section was far from great, “I haven’t romanticized it in my head at all,” she says. “I still really dislike it. I look back on it and I’m grateful Ivy came out okay, but I was sore so deep inside myself that it was excruciating. You just feel really beyond weak. You’re recovering from major abdominal surgery and trying to care for an infant.”
References: Centers for Disease Control, The A. Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, A. Pregnancy Association, The Clevland Clinic, Celeb quotes from The Cut