When the caesarean section is poorly lived

Just as she imagines an ideal child, every pregnant woman imagines her delivery. Contractions, thrusts, birth of the baby: a scenario anchored in our collective imagination. A schema to which the future mother is preparing ... and that comes upset a cesarean. While the baby sleeps in his cradle, image of life, some mothers find it difficult to do this work of mourning: that of a "real" childbirth.

Julie Martory

Childbirth, an initiatory rite

"I gave birth by emergency cesarean section, and several months later, I still feel a sense of failure and guilt. do not explain, because the baby and I are doing very well, "writes our Internet user scallops on the forum of Psychologies. com. This diffuse feeling, many mothers cesarized live, as Brigitte Mytnik attests: "After a cesarean section, some women experience a lack that they can not identify".

"The bottom line is that you and the baby are all right," repeats an often uncomfortable entourage. But if the reason says that "everything is fine", the heart thinks differently. "Pregnancy is not just a baby, it's all an inner experience, lived more or less in consciousness. as a summary of this inner experience, it allows one to discover facets of oneself that one did not know, "explains Nathalie Lancelin, a perinatal psychologist." Childbirth is a rite of passage, "says Brigitte Mytnik. It is the fulfillment of a capacity to give birth, presupposed as a little girl. Caesareans deprive them of this experience, leaving in some mothers a void, a narcissistic wound.

Betrayed by his body

"Why did I fail where the majority of women are successful?" Asks Virginia, met on the forum of the Césarine association. On this privileged space of speech, there are many messages expressing this feeling of failure, sometimes even anger at a body that has been hidden. A collar that remained "closed"; a pond too "narrow"; "Ineffective" contractions: the words are there to emphasize what is lived by the moms as a defection of the body. A body that has come to replace an act that, although it is now commonplace, is nonetheless a surgical act that stigmatizes physically - and psychically.

A cold operating room, a husband waiting in the corridor, an operative field that cuts the mother of her baby, her arms sometimes tied in a cross ... "I have the impression of having undergone surgery and not of 'have lived a birth,' sums up a surfer."Some women, psychologically more fragile, can live cesarean section as a truly intrusive act, or even a carnal violence at the level of fantasy," says Brigitte Mytnik.

A first addict to the image of mother

"I did not feel like mother," writes Solène. In her consultations, Nathalie Lancelin often hears this difficulty: "Some mothers feel they have not been up to their baby, and some even stole her birth."

this difficulty is generally a deep feeling of guilt. Guilt for not offering her baby a gentle, natural birth. To have made her suffer. Not to have offered this moment of skin-to-skin, this first suck on which we insist so much today. Guilt also vis-à-vis their companion, that they deprived of this moment of the birth.

Regrets finally having missed their first meeting. "During the delivery, the mother experiences this visceral need to meet her baby, by the smell, the hearing, the touch, the look. There is a delay, there is a void, a few hours later, it is not the same moment ... ", regrets Brigitte Mytnik. This time sometimes hampers the creation of the mother-child bond, as shown by Virginie: "It took me a very long time to establish a relationship between mother and daughter, and I think that the cesarean section and the separation prevented me from doing the job. transition between my pregnancy and my motherhood ... I had to "force myself" to become a mother ".

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