Post Cesarean Feelings Survey Release


When Theresa Shebib and I embarked on a small survery about cesarean section mothers, we never imagined it would skyrocket so nearly 861 mothers worldwide.  Starting as a simple project of two cesarean mothers, and a passion for internet blogging we threw together a survey with 16 questions that peaked our own interests about other mothers experiences.

Over night the project grew a mind of its own multiplying in size a number of times. The information, numbers, and comments.  Much to our surprise many women were more open and honest than we expected. It was amazing to see the impact of social media today on this project.

What became even more shocking to us were the replies, numbers and information we were able to obtain with this project.  I will go question by question reviewing and sharing some of the results through various posts, but first before getting into each individual question, and the comments and experiences listed, I would like to give a general overview and release of the actual poll results.

Starting with question #1 : How many Cesarean Births have you had?
1 Cesarean – 67.4%   580 mothers
2 Cesareans – 23.5%   202 mothers
3 Cesareans – 6.5%    56 mothers
4 Cesareans – 2.6%   22 mothers
1 mother skipped this question

Question #2 – Your Cesarean Birth was :
Elective or Planned : 14.8%   118 mothers
Unplanned : 39.5%  316 mothers
Emergency : 21.0%   168 mothers
Repeat Cesareans :  15.1%   121 mothers
(First was unplanned cesarean, scheduled subsequent cesareans)
First Birth was Cesarean, VBAC attempt or other births : 5.6%   45 mothers
Always attempted vaginal birth, always ended in cesarean : 3.9%   31 mothers
62 mothers skipped this question

Question #3 – If Elective or Planned, What was the reason?
Previous Birth was Cesarean, Doctor Recommended :  33.9%   112 mothers
Knew what to expect, was the birth I wanted: 10.3%  34 mothers
Fear of labor & Natural childbirth : 2.4%  8 mothers
Previous Traumatic Birth, Cesarean was Less risky : 6.4%  21 mothers
No VBAC Support or availability : 5.5%  18 mothers
Other : 56.1 %  185 mothers
531 mothers skipped this question

Question #4 – What Support did you have During Labor?
Midwife : 18.2%  152 mothers
Doula : 9.3%   78 mothers
Spouce/Partner : 90.7%   758 mothers
Family/Friend : 37.0% 309 mothers
Hospital Staff : 49.2%  411 mothers
25 mothers skipped this question
*Note, mothers were allowed to choose more than one option

Question #5 – Would you describe your experience as :
Wonderful : 27.7%   227 mothers
Empowering : 7.4%  61 mothers
Frusterating : 26.7%  219 mothers
Traumatic : 46.8% 384 mothers
Disappointing : 45.5%  373 mothers
41 mothers skipped this question
*Note, mothers were allowed to choose more than one option

Question #6 – Do You feeling like you were in control and respected through the process?
Yes : 37.4%   318 mothers
Somewhat : 35.3%  300 mothers
No : 31.4%  267 mothers
10 mothers skipped this question

Question #7 – Were you happy with your birth support team?
Yes: 71.1%  601 mothers
No : 28.9% 244 mothers
16 mothers skipped this question

Question #8 – Do you feel adequately informed about interventions, medications, and complications during labor?
Yes : 41.1%   350 mothers
No : 28.3%  241 mothers
Somewhat : 21.6%  184 mothers
Does not apply : 8.9%  76 mothers
10 mothers skipped this question

Question #9 – Do you feel you were adequetely informed about the risks of a Cesarean section?
Yes : 51.5%   434 mothers
No : 48.5% 408 mothers
19 mothers skipped this question

Question #10 – How do you feel now about your cesarean section?
It was necessary, greatful we are all ok : 48.2%   406 mothers
It could have been avoided : 25.4%   214 mothers
I wish I had made difference choices that may have not resulted in a Cesarean : 30.6%  258 mothers
Neautral/No strong feelings : 6.0%   51 mothers
It was a traumatic experience : 31.8%   268 mothers
I am angry : 22.8%   192 mothers
18 mothers skipped this question

Question #11 – Did you discuss your experience with family and friends?
Yes : 90.8%  768 mothers
No  : 9.2%  78 mothers
15 mothers skipped this question

Question #12 – Please rate your physical recovery in 1 – 10 scale.  1 being easy, 10 being difficult, painful, with compications.

1 – 16.0 % 136 mothers
2 – 12.9%  110 mothers
3 – 12.2%  104 mothers
4 – 7.0%   60 mothers
5 – 8.7%  74 mothers
6 – 8.1%  69 mothers
7 – 9.9%  84 mothers
8 – 11.5%  98 mothers
9 – 7.0%   60 mothers
10 – 6.7 %   57 mothers
9 mothers skipped this question

Question #13 – Please rate you emotional recovery in 1 – 10 scale. 1 being no issues, 10 being difficult, or PTSD.
1 – 17.9%  152 mothers
2 – 10.2%  87 mothers
3 – 7.5%   64 mothers
4 – 5.5%  47 mothers
5 – 8.7%  74 mothers
6 – 7.1%  60 mothers
7 – 11.8%   100 mothers
8 – 13.5%  115 mothers
9 – 7.7%  65 mothers
10 – 13.3%   113 mothers
12 mothers skipped this question

Question #14 – Did you seek counseling or other support?  (Support group)
Yes : 27.8%  234 mothers
No : 66.7%  561 mothers
N/A : 5.5% 46 mothers
20 skipped this question

Question # 15 – How do you plan on birthing your future children?
Elective/Repeat Cesarean : 23.3%  196 mothers
VBAC : 49.3%  416 mothers
Home Birth : 22.8%  192 mothers
Water Birth : 12.1%  102 mothers
No more children : 26.6%  224 mothers
18 mothers skipped this question

Question # 16 – Would you consider having a VBAC?
Yes : 77.5%  628 mothers
No : 22.5%  182 mothers
51 mothers skipped this question

On top of all the questions we included a box to add any additional comments, in which 302 women used to comment about their experiences and even made comments about the survey itself.
In the following posts, we will start to break this information down question by question providing quotes and comments from the real mothers who took the survey, and opinions on the numbers, and what they say for birth, especially cesarean birth today.

Danielle A. Elwood
&
Theresa Shebib co-founder of www.HealthyBabyNetwork.com

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