To some, a cesarean section delivery might seem preferable to hours of labor, but think again. On May 11, Australian mom and blogger Olivia White shared an Instagram post showing her stomach after her own C-section delivery, with blunt words about the procedure.
“This is what you really look like a few hours post C-section,” White wrote. “To anyone who thinks it’s the easy way out, well, try having a 6-inch gash in your abdomen like a gutted shark who had the body parts of the surfer it ate retrieved!"
White lives in Melbourne with husband Jeremy and daughters, Annabelle, 3, and Theodora, 1, and the photo is from Theodora's 2016 arrival. Originally, she didn't plan to make her personal photo so public, but felt it was important to correct misconceptions about what a cesarean section is like.
"I was prompted to share it when a friend had come to me about C-sections," she said. "She felt people had made her feel it was an easy way out, and she was disappointed with herself for not birthing naturally."
White disagreed, and felt the photo would help show that few things are "easy" when it comes to giving birth, whatever the form.
"I had (two) C-section births and never really entered into labor naturally, so I don't even know what a contraction or pushing feel like!" White told TODAY. "Many people have told me I'm lucky, that I didn't give birth and that what I did was the 'easy' way but I didn't believe it was. I wanted to share a raw photo of the reality of a C-section birth."
And it was a reality many moms wanted to share, she said, with close to 2,000 people sharing the image and many more commenting on it.
"It's gone crazy! Each share has thousands of comments of women sharing their stories and it's amazing!" White said. "A lot of women would not have their babies here today if it wasn't for the ability to deliver via C-section. I think it's great women have taken the opportunity to share their experience and show what it's like! ... Birth is birth, and we are all mothers — we need to stick together!"