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What to Expect if You Have a Cesarean Delivery

How you may be feeling about having a cesarean

When you first found out you were pregnant and started thinking about the birth of your baby, you may have envisioned giving birth peacefully in the birthing suite at your local hospital or birthing center. Finding out midway through your pregnancy -- or in the heat of labor -- that you're going to require a cesarean section can be a bit of a shock.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that cesarean births are stigmatized as being less intimate and meaningful to laboring women and their partners than vaginal deliveries. This attitude angers women like Andrea, 27, a first-time mother. "Women need to realize that having a cesarean birth makes them no less of a mother than women who have vaginal deliveries," she insists.

Sometimes all that is required is a shift in mind-set, says Jennifer, a 25-year-old mother of one: "I had to plan a C-section when my baby was found to be breech two weeks before my due date. I was very disappointed not to be able to experience labor and delivery as I had envisioned, but I quickly convinced myself that this could be a wonderful thing as well -- to be able to relax and enjoy my baby's entrance into the world without even thinking about my performance and my breathing techniques."

If you continue to feel disappointed about your inability to deliver your baby vaginally, you may wish to share your feelings with your caregiver or talk with a therapist.

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