Kristiana K. – BASIS Scottsdale

Project Abstract (2017)

In America, traditional childbirth is generally viewed as the quintessential symbol of a woman’s transition into motherhood. Current research suggests that perceived “ideal” motherhood is characterized by sacrifice and selflessness. As such, the experience of a vaginal birth functions as the manifestation of “ideal” motherhood, as it is associated with pain and altruism. However, only two-thirds of births are vaginal, while C-sections account for the remaining third. In fact, the perceptions of C-sections directly contrast those of vaginal births. There exists stigma against C-sections, that women who have C-sections are “weaker” and more “self-centered,” and thus do not align with the perception of “ideal” mothers. The apparent tension between the “ideal” birthing experience and C-Sections could potentially be the source of the stigma against C-sections. This project aims to determine if there is in fact a correlation between the stigma against C-sections and the perception of an “ideal” mother, prompting the question, “How do people’s views of women who have C-sections correlate with their understanding of ideal womanhood and motherhood?” To find a possible link between the two viewpoints, a quantitative and qualitative questionnaire was designed to explore themes corresponding to birth and motherhood. By understanding people’s attitudes towards birth and motherhood, this research could potentially identify the source of stigma against C-section, which is the first important step in reversing its impacts. By mitigating stigma, women can objectively choose birthing procedures that are optimal for their individual medical history.

Elective C-Sections: Cutting out the Negativity