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It's hard to believe anyone could shame a woman for the way in which she brings another human into the world, but this is exactly what Sunny Tucker experienced after welcoming her son, Axel, eight weeks ago.
The 23-year-old, from Australia, had a birthing plan in place and a clear vision of how she wanted to deliver her baby. But as every mum will know, in some circumstances plans must change and the most important thing is that that the little one is delivered safely.
Although Sunny wanted a vaginal birth, due to complications during labour, she was forced to have a caesarean. But soon enough, little Axel arrived happy and healthy, and Sunny, along with partner Dillon, 27 were overjoyed.
But their high spirits were soon dampened by cruel comments from people who informed Sunny that she wasn't "a real mother" for having a C-section.
Some even suggested she'd had had "the easy way out" by not giving birth vaginally. To make matters worse, while some of these comments were from strangers, others were made by relatives and even medical staff.
It can take around six weeks to recover from a caesarean and many mums feel they need longer. While gentle exercise is okay, mums should avoid anything more active such as driving, carrying anything heavy or doing heavy housework.
Tommys explain a mum who has given birth via C-section will also need help with carrying the baby in their car seat and with lifting the pram.
Certainly doesn't seem the "easy way out" to us.
Sunny explained: "I was progressing with my dilation and it looked like everything was on track for a natural birth.
"But it dragged on, and the doctors warned that I'd get an infection or have other complications if I waited any longer. So I had to have a caesarean.
"I didn't want to have one, it wasn't in my plan. But I knew it was what I had to do to deliver my baby safely.
"I had no idea of the onslaught of comments that were to follow in regards to the C-section. There are really negative attitudes surrounding it.
"I had a nurse tell me to 'get over' my pain, and that other women have it way worse because they gave birth naturally and 'can't even sit down'.
"I've had other people tell me that I've had the easy way out, that I didn't do anything and just laid there. They told me I didn't really give birth to my baby.
"The worst comment I received was from someone who said 'how can you call yourself a mum? You didn't give birth to him.'
"That really hurt. I don't know how people can think like that. A caesarean is major surgery. You are cut open and sewed back up, it is not fun."
In a bid to help other mums, Sunny shared her shocking experience on social media. It was met with praise by hundreds of other mothers who had also experienced backlash over their C-sections.
"It was crazy the amount of people commenting on it and saying they had been through the same thing," Sunny continued.
"It is so disheartening to hear that so many mums have been made to feel like they are somehow less than other mothers because they had a c-section.
"There is so much stigma around it and it really need to stop. Women are bringing humans into the world every day and there is no right or wrong way to do it.
"We need to be supporting and celebrating each other instead of having an argument about a surgery that saves lives.
"In most cases, a C-section is performed to save the life of mum and baby. It literally can come down to a matter of life and death. Everyone's story is different. As long as a baby is born happy and healthy, nothing else matters."
We couldn't agree more.
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