Kate Hudson is facing a lot of backlash for a comment she made on C-sections. For her cover story in Cosmopolitan‘s October issue, the actress filled out a quiz that included prompts such as, “My post-sweat-session hacks,” and, “What I do to de-stress.” So, it’s pretty innocuous stuff for the most part. But one answer did not sit well at all with many women: For the “Laziest thing I’ve ever done” prompt, Hudson wrote down, “Have a C-section!”
Moms and mom-supporters across social media immediately set her straight. “How insensitive,” wrote one user on Hudson’s Instagram. “Shaming a way that so many women don’t chose to have their babies but have to! I labored for over 24 hours before it was no longer safe for me and my baby. I think that’s the furthest thing from lazy! And women who have to have C-sections for other reasons aren’t lazy, this is why our society thinks it’s ok to mom shame. You lost another fan here.”
“I don’t know what sort of c section you had but the one I had was far from lazy!” commented another. “I had all plans to go natural and was 10cm dilated and pushing for hours until I had my baby come out via emergency c section. It was soo painful for weeks and I struggled to even lift my baby for days. I really hope your comment was a joke!”
This is a great time to remind both Hudson and anyone else who looks down on C-sections that there is no “right” way to give birth. First off, there’s nothing “lazy” about C-sections: The recovery time is much longer than with vaginal births and the pain while healing is much more intense.
And, although the World Health Organization discourages medically unnecessary C-sections since such a major surgery can be risky for both the mother and child, there are some situations in which a C-section birth is much safer than a vaginal birth. For instance, if your baby is in a butt-down “breech” position or the placenta is blocking the baby’s way out, you may need to have a C-section.
Still, far too many women get shamed for what some people (falsely) consider to be “taking the easy way out.” In February, screenshots of a conversation between a mom and a photographer who refused to shoot her birth photos because “a surgery isn’t birth” went viral. Outraged mothers chimed in to explain to the photographer exactly what’s wrong with that sentiment, but the stigma against C-section births is still pervasive and widespread.
As for Hudson’s comments, some defended her by saying she wasn’t calling all C-section births lazy, just her own. She delivered her 13-year-old son Ryder by Caesarean, and her 6-year-old Bingham with a vaginal birth. Others said she was probably just making light of the situation.
“I had 3 c sections in the last 4 years, and I found the comment hilarious,” commented one Instagram user. “Sounds exactly like something I would have said as a joke.”
But, joke or not, perpetuating C-section shame is never OK.
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