More than a third of all births in the United States are delivered via cesarean section, which has led to debates about whether it's too high, if vaginal births promote healthier childhood development and why certain geographical regions and demographics tend to have higher c-section rates and what that really means.
These statistical analyses and obstetric debates not only fuel contention within American motherhood culture, but also breed emotional impacts on some of the women who have them. Especially in cases of emergency c-sections, some women report feeling guilty, disconnected and even devastated that they delivered via cesarean, and a lack of clinical research and attention to those multidimensional feelings toward new motherhood.
With all of this complexity in mind, past Stuff Mom Never Told You guest and Longest Shortest Time podcast host Hillary Frank tasked us with a mission: find out why we care so much about c-sections and why that guilt persists. And, oh baby, did we learn a lot.
Listen to us share our discoveries with Hillary on Stuff Mom Never Told You about C-Sections.
You can also go back and listen to our SMNTY deep dive in c-sections: Why are more women requesting c-sections?
And to learn more about Hillary and the parenting-ish podcast you should be listening to if you don't already, we've got a podcast for that, too! Podcasting Women: The Longest Shortest Time.
Special thanks to Elizabeth O'Brien, licensed psychotherapist specializing in maternal mental health, and reproductive psychiatrist Dr. Carly Snyder. If you're a new mother experiencing post-partum guilt, anxiety or depression, visit Post Partum Support International.