Cesarean Scar Picture with Baby; A C-Section is Not a Mother’s Failure

I wanted to share this on Facebook, but if I get suspended for a placenta picture, then I know I’ll be expelled for this! I saw this on Mama Eve’s blog. It is just simple, raw and beautiful. I will be doing a post with the BWF mother’s scars soon.

Anastasia says, “It dawned on me then that I had been fighting for something that was never meant to be. I could speculate whether it was an avoidable outcome but the truth would remain that for us, this was how my girls were to be born.”

*Picture is originally from here.

A cesarean is not a failure on a mother’s part. A cesarean, no matter what we think of them in the natural birth community, is still birth. It is still a child being born and a woman becoming a mother.

*BWF Mom, Bree.

Have to have a picture to share it on FB w/o getting in trouble!


  • C. Beth

    Love this. The fact is, Caesareans save lives–of mothers and of babies. Are they overdone? Of course. But thank God they are available when they are truly needed. Getting a Caesarean is nothing to be ashamed of…just an alternate exit method.

    And that second photo…WOW. That is one of the most beautiful maternity photos I’ve seen.

  • Helen

    It was a failure on my part. A failure to be informed enough to know that a C section wasn’t necessary (at that point). I’ve come to terms with it but it was still a failure on my part and my ignorance has since been cured (and I had an awesome drug free VBAC 8 months ago!).

    Two incredible photos on this article though. I agree that the contrast between those vicious staples and the mum’s tender hands is really something. ♥

    • Rose

      Helen, don’t be too hard on yourself! I too regret that I didn’t educate myself and that I was too ignorant to know better. But we also have to realise that it’s shoulda-woulda-coulda and we can’t change the past. More importantly, the people that DID know better failed even more – they failed to help, support and keep us informed.
      I live with regret but I also know that the experience is a unique one and one that I can take to empower me even more – it puts me in a position to know what women are facing, how they can fall into that same trap and how to avoid it. I have since had two VBACs with another HBAC on the way!
      Congratulations on your successful VBAC!! And remember that bad experience doesn’t make us a bad person, it can help us to help others avoid it and be empowered 🙂

    • Megan

      It is NOT a failure on your part. We spend all our lives being told that doctor’s know best. They’re the ones with all the training after all. We TRUST them to do what is best in the situation, to do what is needed and necessary. It is NOT our fault if they breech that trust. That is exactly what it is, a breech of trust, not a failure by you.

  • Krysann

    Love that!

    Where did you get that second photo? I so admire how the photographer pulled it off and want to share it on pinterest and give him/her credit! 🙂

    • Mrs. BWF

      I got it from the mother in the picture. I have emailed her asking if there is a photographer that needs to be credited and am waiting to hear back. If there is, the info will be added.

      • Sheri

        Wow. What a lovely lady and awesome eye on that photographer. My husband is very impressed by the lighting and her beautiful alabaster skin (he’s the artist, I just thought “ooooh, how pretty”)

  • Debra

    Thank you so much for this picture. I had three C-sections and my ugly healed scar is a tribute and a badge of honor for me because I also had three beautiful children. All are adults now with families of their own. Do I wish I could have given birth vaginally? Of course, but I couldn’t and didn’t. This picture is lovely. I don’t feel guilty about my C-sections years ago because without the first surgery either I or my daugher would have died….or both. She is a fabulous woman with a little girl of her own….born vaginally. This “sacrifice” to become my daughter and her siblings mom was well worth all the birth challenges.

  • carissa

    How gorgeous!! I wish wish wish I had have thought of that after my caeser with my first son! Instead I spent a year (or 5!!!!) telling myself (and anyone else that would listen!) how much of a failure I was 🙁 I have since had 2 vbac’s, but I so wish I had a photo like that to celebrate my first sons birth, as I tell him now (he is 7) that he is my unique one, the only 3 of the three that came thru my tummy!!! and ironically, January you have helped me come to this positive outcome, so many people think you are so onesided about birth, you are not!!!!

  • Bree

    Mrs BWF, the photographer is a friend of mine, Kym Murray. She has taken maternity photos for all of our friends. I love them. She is a very talented lady. xx

  • Ethel

    I am a grandmother to 19 children, and a greatgrandmother to one.I was shocked when i saw these pictures, not out of embarrassment but because of the beauty I saw in them.The birth of a child is on of the most beautiful things there is{ no matter if natural or surgically.}I could and would never see myself posing for pictures like this.It’s a to each their own subject.I have seen far far worse things on television. with that being said. I wish everyone a good day and hopefully it is a choice you nevr have to make.

  • christine

    it has taken me almost 3 years to come to terms with my section, although i doubt i ever fully will. however, i have finally been able to recognize that my cesarean was a failure on the part of my midwife and my doula, who were/are only natural birth advocates if time and the insurance companies allow. i have since found another midwifery practice, a new doula, and am slowly regaining confidence in my ability to birth, and hopefully very soon, will be able to vbac.

  • Tristian

    I love this. It made me cry. The fact is, whether planned or unplanned, elective or medically necessary… whether it could have been prevented in hindsight or not, millions of babies are born this way, and millions of women become mothers this way. And those women are somehow treated as if they only “kinda” became mothers that day.

    Caesareans are hard, no matter which way you slice it (ha ha). Hard during, hard forever afterward.

  • Sarah

    I had 2 c-sections and 2 beautiful daughters. It never occurred to me I was a failure. It happened and I was just so happy to have my healthy children, however they came into the world.

  • Michelle

    Thank you so much for sharing this photo – brings tears to my eyes! I can relate and often still have feelings of failure from my c-section. I thought I had it so perfectly planned – natural birth, midwife, and doula. But…god had a different plan and in the end all that matters is that my son was delivered happy and healthy.

  • Jesd

    This did bring tears to my eyes. Lovely photos! I had my first in September via cesarean. It was very hard for me because I had prepared for a homebirth with my midwife and did not even think about c-section. The recovery along with trying to nurse and care for my baby while being in so much pain is unforgettable. I cried when she told me we need to go the hospital, I cried when the Dr. Said we have to do surgery and I cried after while watching my son hooked up to monitors lying helpless and alone. I was supposed to stay in bed longer but fought them on it to take me to the NICU because I needed to be with my baby. Oh gotta love those crazy hormones. But I’ve realized too like others on here, that I am not a failure, but stronger from this experience. I am definitely more educated on cesareans and will be going for a VBAC the next time! Thank you for posting and I hope more women are encouraged by this 🙂

  • Megan

    My son was born two years ago via c-section (elective at first) but after my 9lb13 oz 23″ baby was born ;my ob came and seen me in recovery she stated ” I am glad you chose the c section with h is size we could of lost eithier you or him or both if u pushed.. Would I do it again? Absolutely

  • Mama

    This truly made me cry. It will be a year soon since my c-section and I still become extremely emotional about it. I was the girl planning her water birth at the birthing center. A c section was my nightmare. But as the blood pressure rose and my pre eclampsia set in at 38 weeks there was little hope I would give birth naturally. I wanted no meds and yet here I was bein I induced and given pitocin. Then I was conned into having an epidural. Saying it would lower my bp. But it didn’t. 12 hours of active labor later and I plateau at 8cm. My constant 170/110 bp scared everyone. So an emergency c section was given. I didn’t have time to cry about it. My daughter was in my arms soon enough. However afterwards. The healing. I still feel its my fault sometimes. I didn’t try hard enough. I wasn’t healthy enough and that’s why I got pre-e.

    Thank you for this. It’s a step in the right direction for me to read. I am not a failure.

    Vbac for the next one hopefully! 🙂

  • Mama

    This brought tears to my eyes. It will be one year since my daughter was born via emergency c section. I was extremely pre eclampic but my blood pressure didn’t sky rocket until week 38.

    I wanted the most natural birth. Took Bradley classes. Educated ourselves on everything to help the birth process. I wanted to be in the comfort of a birthing center. Give birth beautifully in a whirlpool.

    In the end I was tied down to a table and ripped open.

    After 12 hours of induced labor in a hospital. I plateaued at 8cm and they didn’t want me trying anymore because of my bp. 170/110. I was tired and scared at this point. So I agreed.

    In the end, my daughter was all that mattered. I love her more than words. But you see I still blame myself for not getting the birth I wanted. I got pre-e. i failed to progress in dilation. It just seems like I could have tried harder.

    So this article hits me hard. I didn’t get the birth I wanted but that’s like saying you didn’t get the wrapping paper you wanted on your birthday. The present inside didn’t change. My daughter is my light.

    Vbac hopeful when the next one comes 🙂

  • Sheena

    My son just had his 5th birthday yesterday, he was born by c-section in Japan and I couldn’t help but feel weepy all day yesterday…and this is 5 years later. I felt for the longest time that he wasn’t born, he was just removed. It was a very sad yet happy time. I was finally able to heal emotionally while pregnant with my second. He was born at home and I regained confidence in my body once again. Thanks for the lovely post.

  • melissa

    I am sad that this gorgeous blog went from being pro natural birth\home birth, to now seeming to lean more toward making everyone happy. I used to be able to use this page to help educate my mommy friends now if i link it they will also ready about a home birth gone bad. induction and epidurals ending in a “beautiful birth” and how Csections are not a moms failure they are still a birth….What happened to parental responsibility and self education? not lets make everyone feel good about there crappy births!

    • Mrs. BWF

      So we should not give support to mothers who have had a c/s or loss? We should shun them and only support women who have ‘birthed without fear’?

    • Michelle

      Why would you want to make someone feel badly about THEIR (by the way) birth? I think most people get pregnant to have babies, not to give birth. All children are a gift, and I for one am grateful for my two C-sections that kept me and my stubborn breech babies alive. C-sections are hard. Surviving the recovery is a badge of honor as far as I am concerned. And until I read your post, I really admired the women who are able to have their babies without medical intervention. But if you, Melissa, represent that group, I have promptly decided that you are self-righteous and ignorant. Perhaps you should focus on what kind of parent you are going to be, rather thn on what kind of birth you had.

    • Mrs. B

      Shame on you for calling anyone’s birth “crappy.” Some c-sections are absolutely necessary. Even if I had tried to have a home birth, any sane midwife would have sent me to the hospital immediately because a prolapsed cord can kill or permanently disable a perfectly healthy baby. Even if it isn’t necessary, I can tell you from experience that c-section Momma’s still go through plenty of pain for their babies…maybe even more, since ours lasts for weeks afterwards. Every mother has the right to birth her child in the way that she sees best, just as she also has the right to raise that child as she sees best.

      • KBob

        Just browsing on here tonight, and I normally don’t get offended very often, but I feel that your opinionated post is ignorant enough for me to give you a reply so you’ll know what things are like when birth goes horribly wrong. Apparently you must think every natural labored baby that is born just falls into your arms and the birds sing, so let me educate you a bit. I wanted a completely natural birth, however after laboring for 36 HOURS I was eventually cut open, only about 8 hours later than what I should have been because the baby and I almost DIED from severe infection, low blood pressure, and hemorrhaging. How DARE you think that my birth, as horrific as it was, was “crappy” as if I got the “easy” way out???? You try being locked away from your baby in ICU for over a week while your precious little child is struggling for life in the NICU, THEN you can have a right to put your petty little comments on here. I’m so glad that this blog section was on here, because I needed this today…I feel like a failure enough from my birth, and this short article was a bit of encouragement that the torment that I went through was somewhat okay, and that I will be able to heal from it someday. Yes, I do think it is wrong for someone to try the easy way out, but my situation is what a c-section is for. Please, walk a mile in a life-saving c-section mommy’s shoes before you spew your garbage again.

        • Chasity

          Wow Melissa, I am just shocked that you would use the word crappy and birth in the same sentence. I am all about natural births that was my plan. My husband and I educated ourselves on all things natural and yet out of the safety of our child in did end in a c-section but would I NEVER EVER EVER consider this a failure because I have a healthy precious 19mos old. I am appalled that you would even say that. It’s people like you who get me to doubt myself and my birth. I birthed without fear because I KNOW I did the right thing. Shame on you! And thank you Mrs. BWF, because of you I feel good about my self and my birth and because of you I know I can do a VBAC next time around, so THANK YOU!

    • Bridget Williams

      Wow, how incredibly insensitive Melissa. My triplets and I all could have died without any intervention due to severe eclampsia. I don’t think anyone really wants to get pregnant with triplets, and no one wants to have a c-section, but things happen. At the end of it all I brought home 3 beautiful healthy babies. I definitely feel “robbed” of the wonderful, natural birth experiences I read about, however a c-section was the only safe option for all 4 of us at that time. You do not know everyone’s story or circumstances. Very sad to be that judgmental.

  • Jennifer

    That picture is beautiful… Ive had two c-sections and this picture really makes it look beautiful to have that scar… I know that the scar represents that i didn’t fail to have my kids i just need help!!

  • Rachael Smith-Bakhache

    I had one c-section birth due to a footling baby….I tried to have a VBAC years later that ended afterr 46hrs of labor. I decided with the support of my amazing doula to have a repeat section. I have a double uterus with a secptum (sp) in the middle of my birth canal so I wasn’t able to have strong contracts or bring my son down…however I was dilated to 3cm. I never felt my body failed me! It was just one of those things. I look at my scare and feel pure pride for my mama scare. My daughter (13) and my son (3) came into this world through this! I love my body and I give blessings to it….so for any soon to be mother….you are someone to be proud of, no matter how you bring your baby into the world. You are not a failure…you are a mama and a mama you will be! Blessings to you and your baby!

  • Laura

    My first beautiful daughter was born naturally, after 26 hours of hard back labor, a 104 fever on oxygen and my blood pressure had dropped to 40. She was born in distress not breathing and was wisked away to the NICU and I did not even see her until 14 hours later. I was in such bad shape that I was in the hospital 2 weeks and my SI joint never fully healed – it still bothers me now 7 years later. With my second daughter, I elected to do a C-Section because of the residual SI problems from the first delivery. It was a beautiful experience. There was no trauma, I held her immediately, I was there for her first bath, nursed her within an hour of being born, I was not exhausted and could enjoy my baby and was home 4 days later. I am a true believer that everyone’s experience is different and unique, that what works for one person is not the answer for everyone. That giving birth and becoming a mother is a sacred experience, and everyone’s experience will be different and beautiful in its own way.

  • Tiffanie

    Love this article! I had a natural delivery with my first child, he ended up getting stuck in the birth canal and they had to use the forceps and the vacuum (this has since been out lawed 😉 he had a horrible cone head and a scratch 1/2″ from his eye from the Forceps. I had an episiotomy and still ended up with a 4T rectal tear (OUCH!) he had very wide shoulders…. 🙁 with my 2nd daughter, i was planning a natural delivery, but she went into distress when I was barely dialated to a 4, could not find a heart beat….I was terrifed of a C-Section! TERRIFED! But when not just one of the Dr.’s that was on my delivery team but all 3 told me either I have a C-section or we (meaning me and the baby) will both die! sobbing my eye balls out i agreed to a c-section, although my recovery time was MUCH better, and i did end up with a very sick little girl who spent 2 weeks in NICU, I know how have a beautiful 10 1/2 year old and have gone on to have 2 more successful c-sections and 4 beautiful children and not one single regret! It is a very good thing to have options and choices, without them, I wouldn’t be hear and neither would any of my babies <3

  • Victoria

    My first baby, my now almost 4 year old daughter, was natural no pain meds birth. For my second baby, my son, I was starting to look into a at home birth when my water broke at 24 weeks. Suddenly I had no control, he was breach, they had to call a life flight team from another state to our small little hospital, do an emergency c-section and then because of how he was positioned cut the muscle vertical making it so no midwives ( much less any O.B’s )around here will touch me with a 10 foot pole to do a VBAC. It took two years before looking at my scar didn’t make me feel like I failed as a mother. Now I’m pregnant with #3 and have accepted that it will be a c-section delivery. Unplanned c-sections are hard on a mom. While if you can do a natural birth that’s great, we can’t judge other moms because quite often there’s more then just one scar left behind and judging won’t help heal either.

  • misty

    I’ve never had a C-section. That being said, I have never viewed it as being less of a “birth”. No matter how a baby is brought into this world, it is a wonderful thing. Scars, from a c-section, or stretch marks, are our way of always remembering our sacrafices. I show my 3 boys which stretch marks each of them has given me. it almost makes me cry every time. its a piece of them I will always have, and would never want to get rid of. Be proud of those scars. They tell a very remarkable story, or in my case, 3.


    I think it’s sad that it even needs to be expressed that a c/s is not a failure. Women who let their babies die in a dangerous stuntbirth because they’re too proud to go the “traditional medical route”…. THAT is failure. I don’t need anyone to reassure me that my births were not failures. My children are here, happy, and loved. It would never even occur to me to think of “failure” in that equation. But, I guess there are always people like “Melissa” who have nothing going for them in life but having given birth vaginally, so they attempt to make those who didn’t feel like crap. Guess what – it didn’t work. My vagina does not define me as a mother. Sorry that yours does.

  • Kathleen

    I am a c/s baby. My mother is a very small person with a tiny pelvis, and I was 9 pounds. My mother’s OB told her that attempting a ‘natural’ birth would be putting both of us at serious risk. She went away and did her homework, and chose the option that was safest for her child, me.

    23 years on, and I’m planning a birth centre water birth. At 28 weeks everything is looking great, but should I be faced with a similar decision I know that I will chose the safety of my child over my own preference for a natural birth. Not to do so would be unthinkable.

  • Tammie

    I had 2 VBacs. I REFUSED to have any further CSections. ~ I have 6 children, all labors basically fine/natural till #4. He was an emergency CSection. I feel they ruined me as I have never felt right since that time.. I felt I was butchered and slaughtered like a slab of cattle at a meat house. (scar from hip to hip !) When I had my 5th I told them I was scheduled to have a section and then refused it. I told them I would walk home if they insisted. I had a VBAC and all was well. I refused a Section with our 6th as well as that is what they told me what was best, but I feel my self knows my body best. If we would have decided to have any more I would refuse sections for them too. I have disorders medically which they “claim” they have to do Amnio’s and PUBS tests for to test platelette levels, but all kids have been (supposidly) fine except for the one that had the section and the one before hand I had as a preemie. I believe God made the body to function a certain way and it works that way on purpose. I would refuse the Section on my 4th if I could go back. My own doctor told me they do them more often because they make more money off of them I would suggest no one have them unless it was proven that it need be done. I am against sections the way alot of people just use them today to be honest. However everyone has the right to make up thier own mind and decisions based on thier needs or wants and I am not one to tell others what to do. JMO. I would do homebirth if we had decided to have others, but after a loss we do not want to go through that again.

  • studentmidwife

    The photos are beautiful. I loved reading everyone’s comments and congratulations to you all on your belly births!

  • Lea

    I think that what matters here is that this is a movement…whether you’ve had a csection or not…what matters is that you are educating yourself. The problem is in the lack of education. How a woman will hunt for months for the perfect wedding dress, analyzing every detail but go to the first OB nearest her and just do what they say, never asking questions, getting induced for no medical reason, not questioning or taking responsibility for the birth of their child. I myself had a csection after 2 days of 10 minute apart contractions and 16 additional hours in the hospital. I have a 13 month old healthy boy but I still mourn the birth I didn’t get. But what I take comfort in is knowing that I was educated and my wishes were respected. I was never bullied or given the wrong information and I decided when interventions were necessary. I am grateful the technology is available as many women are unable to deliver vaginally for many reasons. If that is your only choice to have a healthy baby then of course you take that route. I am someone that had a very long unmedicated labor but also ended up with a csection and had to deal with the long recovery after. But at least I tried and had a say in my delivery. My son was not positioned correctly, and would not come down and I can’t imagine had this been 100 years ago what I would’ve done? That is all that we are talking about here, and bloggers like these are trying to put out there. We as women need to educate ourselves on the process, remember women birthed in caves, and surrounded by other women — no doctors..but at the same time being grateful that we are delivering babies in this century with many advances-should they become necessary. We are in the best place..we can learn from our ancestors and from the latest advances. Just educate yourselves and make the best decision for your family. The issue that we have is that women aren’t educating themselves and if they did we wouldn’t have the csection and intervention rate skyrocketing the way it is. Becoming a mother is a great honor and privilege. Just know your options, that is all that matters. A large percentage will be doing things differently if their eyes were opened. We can go in circles arguing who is responsible..society, our mothers, the OB’s…I say it is your baby, so you take the initiative. Someone told me best, you had a natural labor-just not a natural birth. I am forever grateful that my son is here, that he is thriving. Many women will tell me to focus on that and to ‘get over’ the actual birth. It was an important journey for me to go through, although bittersweet. But it truly prepared me for motherhood. I am grateful for these activists putting this information out there, kudos to you. Let’s not attack each other, empower each other!

  • Ashley

    I love this! I am glad this made me feel better about myself. I was told I cant have natural birth due to a narrow pelvic bone. After reading this group I feel I can find a doctor who will help me try when I plan my next child for a natural birth. I never felt like a failure I always meditated both times to feel like I was apart of it! But after reading and learning more information I realize I could of tried if I wasn’t misinformed. Thanks BWF moms <3

  • Sarah

    I had to have a c-section after my son’s heart beat kept dropping and I wasn’t dilating past 3 cm after 12 hours in labor. I wasn’t too worried, wound up having a narrow pelvis. My mom made me feel really bad that I had to have a c-section. She was able to have 4 kids naturally, so I should be able to as well, apparently. This story made me feel so much better.

  • Jenica

    I feel like I was educated, and I knew better, but I still ended up with what I truly feel was an unnecessary cesarean. I did tons of research, I read Ina May Gaskins Guide to Natural Childbirth. My husband read The Birthing Partner. We went to Birthing from Within classes. I planned a HWB with midwives. I hired a doula. My mother who has had a successful VBAC at a birth center (with me) and 3 more successful HBACs was there with me. After 20 hours of labor I had been stuck at 9cm for 5 hours. I was too far gone in the throes of labor to be creative and think of various things that might help me dilate that one last centimeter, but I feel like my midwives could have had more ideas. It’s true that we did try a variety of things, but I still feel like it could have been prevented. I transferred to the hospital after 20 hours of labor at home, at 9cm dilated. I never really entered the transition stage, or I was stuck in it for many many hours. The hospital led to an epidural, pitocin and in the end a cesarean birth after the pitocin didn’t change a thing. I can say though, that I birthed without fear. I was devastated about the c-section, but I was never scared. I was disappointed that me and my son missed out on the birth experience I had wanted for us. I was disappointed that my husband did not get to “catch” our son as we had planned. But throughout that experience I was never “afraid”. I am truly hoping I can find the support I need to have a HWBAC for my next baby.

  • Laura D

    Thank you for posting this. I had to have a c-section after my baby got stuck and wouldn’t turn. I pushed for 3 hours before we realized that he wasn’t coming out any other way. It was hard to go from a natural birth to a c-section, but I don’t regret it. Thanks to that option, both my baby and I are healthy and alive.

  • Ann K.

    I can’t believe they suspended you over a picture. That’s a natural part of life. I have a picture posted of… Well, to me it’s funny. The anesthesiologist asked me if I wanted him to take pictures of my c-section for me since I couldn’t see below the curtain, and well, he sure did, lol. It’s a picture of the doctors pulling her out of my belly.
    Nobody’s said anything about it and I certainly never heard anything from Facebook about it.

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