Dear Jessica Simpson, Before You Have Another C-Section...

Dear Jessica Simpson,


I hear through the grapevine that you are expecting another baby.  (I don't buy gossip magazines.  But I do sometimes look at them in the checkout line.)  And I heard your first was born by requested, scheduled c-section.  And I also heard it was because (in part) you watched your sister attempt a long and painful natural birth.

There are a few things that you deserve to know about having another c-section.  They are things that not all women are told.

There are risks no matter HOW you birth.  But were you told about the risks of mulptiple c-sections in a real and honest way?  Most women aren't.  They include:

- Placenta problems (implanting improperly and causing further and sometimes dangerous problems) in future pregnancies.

- Injuries to the bladder- this surgery is major and involves more than just a uterus.

- Heavy bleeding- as with any major surgery this is a risk- and it is higher with c-section than with a natural birth.

- Weakened uterine wall- this is why there is so much talk about "rupture" after one c-section.  It is often given as a reason NOT to VBAC- but what they don't tell you is that the more c-sections you have, the more dangerous it gets.

- Women after cesarean often report pain in the incision for months or even years, adhesion pain internally, and various other problems.

- In fact, cesarean can even impact future fertility (either by making pregnancy less likely or less desirable.)

- If you don't believe me, just ask Tori Spelling.  Her multiple c-sections made her fourth pregnancy scary and dangerous. 

(You can read all about these risks on the Mayo Clinic website.)

Jessica, you deserve to know a few things about natural birth too.

Birth doesn't have to be scary.

Birth doesn't have to be horrible.

Birth doesn't have to be suffering.

Yes, natural birth isn't free of risk or pain.  And no, you can't always control the outcome.  But natural birth can be amazing.  Birth can be empowering.  Birth can make you feel like you did something INCREDIBLE even though it is something women do every day.

You don't have to be afraid of birth.  You don't have to think of birth as suffering.  A woman who is supported and loved throughout her pregnancy and birth process can feel more powerful and happier than at any other time in her life.  

I can't guarantee that a birth class or the right book will make a natural birth wonderful or even possible for you.  But I can guarantee that there is joy in TRYING and there is power in knowing that you are capable.   And there is something so much more wonderful about embracing HOPE rather than FEAR.  

You deserve to make the decision yourself.  You also deserve to know the risks and benefits of EVERY decision.

All the best-

Photo from-

cliff1066™ / Foter / CC BY


Love this post! On another note, Giselle just had a successful homebirth! Not all celebrities are running to the OR for scheduled C sections. Hopefully more stories like Giselle's will show up on those magazine covers in the grocery store lines!
Rachel said…
How do we know her c-section was scary and horrible and full of suffering? What if it was amazing and wonderful?
Julie said…
Great post! I wish women knew the risks of c-sections. Most doctors just gloss them over like it's no big deal. What's worse - some pain during natural birth for a few hours or a painful recovery for weeks or months from a major surgery?
zeimommy said…
I believe that she was referring to Jessica opting for a cesarean, because her sister had a scary, long, and painful natural birth. Or that is what I gathered from this post.
Mrs. W. said…
Not all women need the "joy" of trying, and not all women find empowerment through natural birth. My first birth was supposed to be by way of elective cesarean - it did not happen. What did happen was I was forced to give birth vaginally, my daughter was born through a tight nuchal cord, did not have spontaneous respiration for the first minute of her life, I felt completely out of control and disempowered. Further, I am left wondering if the oxygen deprivation will have any impacts over the longer term and if the damage to the pelvic floor sustained in that first birth will result in incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse in the longer term. My second birth was by way of elective scheduled cesarean and it was an empowering, beautiful experience that resulted in the healthy arrival of my son.

Maybe Mrs. Simpson does not aspire to have a football team of children. Maybe she is fully informed, and being fully informed of both options chooses cesarean. Who are we to question that choice or assume that she is uninformed? Maybe the risk to her future child (the one she is carrying now and not some imaginary potential future child who may or may not ever come into existence) of a uterine rupture that would necessitate an emergency cesarean and would pose a serious risk of neurological damage to her child, is just one she is not willing to take.

It is her body and her choice - and the only appropriate thing to wish her is to have a healthy pregnancy and birth
Unknown said…
I was thinking of writing her a letter just like this one. Thanks! We don't have to assume she is uninformed to share this information because we know that this is the status quo for expecting mothers in the USA. Birth is a business, and c-section's are more profitable than a vaginal birth. You are looking out for your sisterhood when you share this information with strangers, relatives, whoever. It doesn't do anybody any harm to say 'hey, maybe you are already aware of this, but here's another point of view.'

Nicely done.
Anonymous said…
The problem I have with posts such as this is there are those of us who cannot have a natural birth for medical reasons. We come to this blog to be empowered, to feel that every type of birth is okay and right and that it is our right to choose how our baby is born into the world - whether that is a VBAC or a C-Section.

I am appalled that this is on this site as it is cruel, demeaning and fear-mongering.
mommyto6 said…
The truth is never cruel, demeaning or fear mongering. The truth is the truth. Just because some people don't like it doesn't make it not TRUE. Women in this country are not told the facts MOST of the time. We, in the natural birth world, assume this about most women who choose to see an OB because that's just the way it is. If you've read many of Mama Birth's posts, I think you've seen exactly what she's all about and I'm always puzzled by people whose response is so shocked that she would post facts about a certain birth choice.

You go, Mama!! As long as we keep educating and empowering women, we can turn the birth tide in this country!!
Rachel said…
@mommyto6, She may have talked about the facts on c-sections, but not vaginal birth. Vaginal birth can cause all sorts of problems too, and a vbac especially.
I keep getting this tone from people in the "natural birthing world" that radiates the "We're better because we're natural" attitude. It really annoys me because while I love the all natural route, sometimes it's just not a good idea, or possible, or something someone wants to do for reasons undisclosed.
Plus, I keep seeing posts against hospitals and medical interventions while having a vbac that results in serious trauma, bleeding, and a damaged baby is considered successful. It's so depressing that there are so many out there who consider it a success! I thought our goal was to have a Healthy baby, not push something out our vagina no matter what. I did not find it empowering, I found it horrible and am so glad I'm never doing it again. The part I find awesome is being able to enjoy my nice healthy sons.
C-sections have their problems, but so does regular birth. If you're going to list the bad things about c-sections, list everything that can go wrong with a regular vbac as well. Don't sugar coat it as if it's the best thing ever, because it's just another way to get baby out. Don't worship birth.
Jakob said…
Dear Jessica Simpson, Before You Have Another C-Section. ...