Mom Delivers Compelling Birthing Message: ‘I Didn’t Realize How Much C-Section Shaming There Was’

A mother of two aims to reduce the stigma around delivery methods by talking about her C-section journey. Her goal is to foster conversations that empower women to not feel shame due to the way they gave birth to their children.

“I guess I didn’t realize how much C-section shaming there was until I got shamed myself,” Jesse Truelove of Guymon, Oklahoma, said in an interview with Good Morning America. “I had a doula, who was a birth support person, [say] I was ‘too good for labor and labor was beneath me’ and that’s why [I was] opting for a C-section.”

A Mom Is Attempting to Change the Conversations About Deliveries Such as a C-Sections.

“Labor was not beneath me. I did that. I tried that for 26 hours,” Truelove continued. “However women choose to birth their kids, at the end of the day, we’re just moms trying to get out of the hospital with a healthy baby and there’s no shame in that — no matter how you do it.”

The mom recently shared a clip to her Instagram account showing how she gave birth to her daughter, River who was born March 11, 2021. River was delivered by elected C-section. The video left its impression on thousands of women.

“If you had a C-section it’s OK to mourn the delivery you didn’t get,” reads the text superimposed on the video.

“You are a warrior. You made life. You brought that life into the world, the best way for you and that baby. There is no room for judgment or shame around that. Only love, support, and pride.”

“There is no EASY way to birth a human. I’m proud of you. Of all mothers. Of myself.”

Truelove specializes in core and pelvic floor exercises. In addition, she’s also the lead coach of the Move Your Bump app and a Postpartum Ab and Rehab workout course.

Her career has been driven by experience of giving birth to her two daughters.

“I didn’t know what women needed until I needed those things,” Truelove told GMA.

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Truelove also pointed out the impetus to “bounce back” that women who have given birth often feel pressured by. She finds it unreasonable and something that more often than not makes new parents feel like they are failing. She argued that the terminology in this sphere is all wrong.

“There’s ‘failure to progress, incompetent cervix’…those words carry a heavy weight for a mom trying to bring a baby into the world,” Truelove explained.

“The first birth was very traumatic and an emergency situation after 26 hours of labor, a uterine infection … it was everything I didn’t want. It took me a long time to process and digest that birth,” she continued. “I definitely felt like my body had failed me.”

Trulelove said that she had her first experience with a C-section delivering her now 2-year-old daughter, Radley.

Post-birth, Truelove said she felt like a “stranger” in her own body, feeling as if she did not belong, even though the people around her were telling her to be proud of what her body had indeed accomplished.

“Whether you have a C-section or a vaginal delivery — which is major trauma to the body — moms are given no support,” Truelove shared. “The standard for care for moms is so low and the societal expectation is so high.”

According to 2019 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a total of 2,558,882 vaginal deliveries in the US and 1,186,397 deliveries by cesarean or C-section. The percentage of total deliveries by C-section was 31.7%.

Rates of vaginal birth after previous cesarean (VBAC) grew from 12.4% in 2016 to 12.8% in 2017 and 13.3% in 2018.

Truelove said her mission now is to help women gain control over their bodies. She offers workouts tailored to what the body has experienced through vaginal or C-section deliveries.

She has shared a number of tips and pieces of advice for new and expecting moms on social media and beyond. Her first bit is to communicate with your doctors. “Speak with your doctors about your choices and risks with repeat C-sections and VBAC,” Truelove advised.

Go into the delivery with the mindset that “anything can happen,” Truelove also said. She said it’s important to set yourself up for a relaxing recovery. “The way you feel will make you calm, and sets up the vibe for the rest of your stay there,” Truelove noted.

“The moms who have C-sections or complicated vaginal deliveries, we carry this guilt and we don’t talk about it because we don’t want to hear something from someone that will crush us,” she said of the fight that follows a C-section. “They don’t know the weight their words can carry.”

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“You did something amazing, even if it wasn’t how you expected the birth to go,” she wants moms to keep in mind.

We love all of the things Truelove had to say and hope she sparks many conversations about accepting a mom for just being a mom and not how they arrived at that point.

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