Just one day after giving birth to her baby daughter, Alexa, Raquel Renteria took to social media to share a picture. But it wasn’t an image of her newborn she wanted the world to see, but the raw caesarean scar she’d been left with after giving birth.
The new mum from California wanted everyone to know why she was proud of her scar and share an empowering message to other women who given birth via c-section.
“The last few weeks leading up to Alexa’s birth, I was scared. I was terrified of this surgery,” she wrote. “I was afraid of this scar and the long term effects it would have on body and my mind. I was worried I would feel inadequate, like I didn’t give birth to her.”
“So many different fears lingered, but SO many other mamas told me, it would all be okay,” she continued. “And it is. I don’t feel as if I was robbed of a birth or like less of a bad ass. This scar proves that I am indeed a #badassmama.”
Raquel certainly isn’t the only one to take to social media to share their c-section scar selfies. Earlier this year new mum Raye Lee shared images of her own post-surgery scar to prove that caesareans are not the “easy way out.”
Having grown tired of others commenting that having a c-section meant she hadn’t actually given birth, Raye Lee shared an image of her scarring alongside a message calling out people for birth-shaming women who have delivered their babies via caesarean.
“Ah, yes. My emergency c-section was absolutely a matter of convenience,” she wrote. “It was really convenient to be in labour for 38 hours before my baby went into distress and then every contraction was literally STOPPING his HEART.”
“This was the most painful thing I have experienced in my life,” she continued. “Having a shrieking infant pulled out of an incision that is only five inches long, but is cut and shredded and pulled until it rips apart through all of your layers of fat, muscle, and organs (which they lay on the table next to your body, in order to continue to cut until they reach your child) is a completely different experience than I had imagined my son’s birth to be.”
And back in October mum-of-two Jodie Shaw posted a picture of her c-section scar to Instagram, taken just two days after giving birth to her second child.
“A new day and a what seems to be another new post from someone insinuating that giving birth by caesarian means that you didn’t give birth. Can we please just stop!” she wrote in the accompanying caption.
“I obviously can’t change people’s views but I’ve decided to post this picture to see if it may make people understand that despite what our birth plans might say. Sometimes we don’t get a choice,” she continued.
“I didn’t get a choice. I had a fibroid the size of a melon sat on my cervix and a low lying placenta which meant that I’ve been left with no ordinary c-section scar. But whether you believe this or not. I gave birth to my baby. So next time you judge someone for not doing what you consider to be “giving birth” please take a minute to think about why they may have had to deliver that way.”
A good point well said. But the fact that women feel the need to share images of their caesarean scars to ‘prove’ that they’ve given birth is pretty concerning.
Unfortunately though, birth-shaming is an actual thing and the caesarean birth backlash seems to be a particularly hot topic of late. From mums making throwaway comments about being too posh to push, to keyboard warriors writing snarky remarks on birth announcements, heck there was even a troll group on Facebook who posted that c-section mums were taking the easy way out and were only shut down thanks to a torrent of complaints.
As if mothers weren’t being pitted against each other enough with the whole Bottle Vs Breast, Stay at home Vs Working, we now have to add Vaginal Vs C-section into the mix.
But isn’t it a shame that the world has become so competitive that some mums feel superior to another mum because their babies came out the front door as opposed to the sun roof? That we have to debate about what constitutes ‘real’ childbirth.
Hopefully, we’ll one day live in a world where all births are considered equal. Until then lets encourage the c-section mums to keep proudly sharing their scar selfies. And please lets stop with the birth-shaming. Because making someone feel inferior for how they choose or need to bring their baby into the world is so not the one.
What do you think of the c-section scar selfie movement? Let us know @YahooStyleUK