Though it is the second most commonly performed surgical procedure in the US, a C-section is often looked upon as a last resort surgery and is performed only if the mother fails to deliver vaginally. This is due to the several myths associated with it.

A popular ‘Listening To Mothers Survey’ states that almost two-thirds of women who’ve had their first C-section said that their doctor was the decision maker, and more than a quarter said they felt pressured to have the surgery.

But what is it that makes pregnant women scared of a C-section birth? We debunk some common myths.

Myth #1: If you’ve had a cesarean once, you cannot have a vaginal birth later.

Fact: Having your first delivery through a C-section doesn’t mean that you cannot have a vaginal birth later on. Statistics say that 70 percent women who go for a vaginal birth after previously giving birth via a C-section are successful. The decision depends on why you had to opt for a C-section delivery in the previous pregnancy and your health in the current pregnancy.

Myth #2: You cannot exercise once you have a C-section.

Fact: It is true that you cannot exercise immediately after you deliver. However, you can do simple exercises such as walking and certain pelvic floor and abdominal exercises six weeks after your C-section delivery. The only thing that matters is the time that your incision takes to heal. Make sure you get the doctor’s approval before you start.

Myth #3: A C-section birth means you will suffer with a backache for the rest of your life.

Fact: Some women do get a backache for a couple of weeks, but that is due to the spinal anesthesia that is injected in the lower back. There are many ways by which you can minimize the pain such as using a pillow for your back and one to hold your baby closer during feeding. This ensures that you sit straight and not hunched up, which can cause discomfort. You can also use a back support belt. Ask your doctor about it.

Myth #4: You cannot breastfeed after a C-section.

Fact: Doctors encourage breastfeeding immediately after delivery, even in case of a C-section birth, and there is no risk of your stitches opening or getting infected. Your lactation expert can guide and help you choose a position that is comfortable for both you and the baby.

Myth #5: You can schedule a C-section birth any time.

Fact: Though many celebs have an elective C-section, most doctors warn not to schedule one that is more than a week earlier than your natural delivery date. Babies who are born with elective C-sections by the 37th week have double the chances of heart and respiratory issues and seizures than babies born by elective C-section at 39 weeks.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Pregnancy & Babycare here.

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A pregnancy & babycare writer as well as wellness believer, Debolina is always trying to bring in health and wellness into her family’s, especially her kids’, lives. With a Master’s degree in English literature, she has worked with several mothercare and babycare brands. In her free time, she helps with campaigns that work towards promoting the health and well-being of women and babies. Her experiences as a mother help her talk about busy modern-day parenting and its changing trends.