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Woman allegedly shamed by photographer for undergoing C-section, sparks debate

According to CIHI, the rate of women undergoing C-sections in Canada is on the rise, increasing almost nine per cent between 1997 and 2014.
According to CIHI, the rate of women undergoing C-sections in Canada is on the rise, increasing almost nine per cent between 1997 and 2014. Getty Images

It seems like everyone has an opinion when you become a parent. From parenting styles to your child’s diet, there are plenty of people out there ready to judge the choices you make.

But is telling people how they should give birth going too far?

That was one woman’s alleged experience when she encountered a birth photographer who would not photograph her baby’s delivery by C-section because they didn’t consider the procedure a “real birth.”

READ MORE: Moms now able to see their baby’s very first moments during C-section

A screen shot of the alleged text exchange was shared by a Facebook group for mothers called Sanctimommy late last week and has quickly picked up steam with over 3,400 shares by Tuesday afternoon.

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“I didn’t ‘opt’ for anything but alright,” the mother says to the photographer. “I had no idea birth photographers discriminated [against] people for how they birth their babies but that’s good to know.”

To which the photographer replies, “A surgery isn’t birth, my dear. You aren’t giving birth. You are having a surgery to remove your baby from your abdomen. That is not birth not matter how you swing it and I for one don’t want to be there to take pictures of it.”

The photographer then goes on to say:

“If you decide to give motherhood a go from the get and have an actual birth let me know and we can schedule your session,” they write.

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The photographer ends the exchange with a lecture about motherhood.

“This motherhood job is hard, if I were you I would think twice about starting such a job by cutting corners so early in the game.”

The photographer and mother’s name were removed from the screen shot.

Global News was unable to verify the legitimacy of the text messages, but nonetheless it has opened up a heated dialogue on social media about the issue.

“Honestly I don’t think having a c-section is the easy way out,” Roykinnia Cooper writes on Facebook. “Who wants to be cut? Let’s not forget the healing process. I didn’t have a c-section with my son, but seeing the mothers who actually had one. It looks painful. So I give an applaud to all the mothers who had c-sections.”

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READ MORE: How your unborn baby’s sex could impact your health

“No matter how the baby comes out, the fact that you have a baby makes you a mama,” Valorie Williams-Bland says on Facebook. “[I] wonder what she would say about adoption.”

“My response if this were me: ‘You may run your business as you please. But I just want to make it clear that your photography is NOT so good that it’s worth dying for,” writes Ilia Louise on Facebook.

The post also prompted others to share their C-section experiences.

“I had a C-section after pushing for 2 hours,” Aasta miles shares. “Turns out his head was too big and kept hitting my pelvic bone. What does this lady think I could have waved a magic wand, shrunk his head and completed my ‘birth?’”

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“Cut corners?!?!” says Mara Reisinger. “After two vaginal births I ended up have a c-section with my third and would gladly have had another vaginal, it was so much easier and less painful. Whoever thinks a c-section is the ‘easy’ way has obviously never had one!!”

According to a 2011 study in the Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology, cesarean sections are one of the most commonly performed procedures for women. It is estimated that one-third of women in developed countries undergo the procedure.

The rate of C-section births also continues to rise. There are several reasons (some complex) as to why more of these procedures are being performed; including advanced maternal age, multiple pregnancies, breech presentation, suspected low infant birth weight and increasing maternal BMI, among others.

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The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) puts Canada’s C-section rate at 27.5 per cent in 2014. This is up from 18.7 in 1997.

READ MORE: Going viral: ‘Miracle baby’ born encased in amniotic sac

The study also acknowledges several physical and psychological impacts C-sections can have on women.

Physical impacts include possible surgical complications like damage to organs (like the bladder, uterus or cervix for example), which happens in about 12 per cent of reported cases, researchers say.

In terms of psychological well-being, the rates are less frequently reported than physical complications. However, researchers say women who give birth by cesarean often report lower degrees of satisfaction with their birth experience, less positive interactions after birth and less interaction with their child at home.

Should women feel persisting physical complications and emotional distress, it is best to seek help from a medical professional.