C-Sections Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

A lot of pregnant moms – especially first-time moms – hear horror stories about C-sections. Sometimes graphic and gory, these dramatic stories frighten even the most educated, strong women.  Cesarean sections are major surgery, after all. They involve abdominal and uterine incisions and a hospital stay. They come with a set of risks and an often unpleasant recovery period. 

Still,  are we doing a disservice to fellow moms by not offering a balance of perspectives? Some women opt for c-sections from the get-go to avoid possible complications of vaginal delivery. Some women, due to pregnancy of multiples or having high-risk factors, feel that a c-section is a safer and better option than traditional labor and delivery. And some moms who are pregnant with multiples choose to have a C-section to avoid any issues during labor, like one baby flipping breech last minute.

To ward off the stigma and balance out the scary stories, let’s dive into different aspects of c-sections so that you can decide what is best for you and your baby! Make your decisions based on information, not fear.

Note: This article is not meant to provide specific medical advice to individuals. Always consult with a licensed medical doctor to discuss your unique situation.

Why is it scary?

C-Sections Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

Labor and delivery trauma, or birth trauma, is a real thing. Many women have experienced truly terrifying situations when giving birth, and their stories should in no way be minimalized or diminished. 

Many horror stories regarding C-sections involve incredibly long labors with hours and hours – even days – of pushing with no success, leading to a rush to the operating room. Some women develop serious medical concerns, or their baby becomes distressed during birth. Labor and delivery can truly be life and death for certain individuals. In these cases, the situations are already complicated and messy. The stories usually end with an emergency C-section, and the mothers sometimes are unable to hold their little ones right away for different reasons.

These messages are difficult to hear and understand. The C-sections themselves may (or may not) have been terrible, but the circumstances surrounding the C-section absolutely were. The common themes of these stories are exhaustion, pain, uncertainty, fear, and disappointment. Acknowledging this perspective can be helpful in understanding the legitimate fear factor around C-sections.

Read More: Predicting Pre-Term Birth

Are there pros to having a C-section?

C-Sections Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

Thank goodness for modern medicine! C-sections literally save the lives of mothers and babies every day. And, in some cases, they aren’t too traumatic.

C-sections can be done in 45 minutes, taking away the hours of hard labor some women have to experience. They can often be scheduled in advance (though, we all know babies have their own timetables). They are performed in sterile operating rooms with skilled, educated doctors and nurses on hand to care for mom and child. Spinal blocks are administered by an anesthesiologist to take away sensations of pain from the surgical site. Should the baby flip during the birthing process, there would be no risk of vaginal tearing with a C-section. In America, C-sections are usually considered relatively safe and common.

The recovery process after birth – whether vaginal or C-section – differs greatly depending on many factors, like the woman’s health and support system. Some women say that, with rest, support, and staying current on prescribed medication, the recovery process is manageable. Many women do stay in the hospital for one day longer than those who deliver vaginally.

Luckily, choosing one method of delivery doesn’t necessarily reduce your choices in a subsequent pregnancy. A few years ago, many doctors would not perform a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean). That is not the case now. This is entirely up to the doctor, but women can now find more medical professionals willing to consider offering VBACs if they want to avoid being locked into a decision forever.

Read More: Life After C-Section: What to Expect After a C-Section

What should I ask my doctor?

C-Sections Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

It’s always important to ask a doctor you know and trust before committing to any procedure. Even if you plan to deliver vaginally, it is important to ask questions about C-sections long before your due date. It will help you be prepared and make informed decisions, should complications arise down the road.

Ask your doctor these questions regarding C-sections:

  1. Is my pregnancy considered high-risk?
  2. What complications would indicate the need for a Cesarean?
  3. Who would perform the surgery if needed? 
  4. Where would the surgery be performed? 
  5. Is there a cost difference between vaginal and C-section deliveries?
  6. How long would I be in the hospital after a Cesarean?
  7. What is a spinal block and what will I feel during the procedure?
  8. Who will be present during the surgery?
  9. Will I be able to hold my baby after a C-section?
  10. Will I still have personal options like birth photography, cord cutting, etc. if I need a C-section?
  11. If I choose to have a C-section, would you consider performing a VBAC in the future if desired?
  12. Do you see any signs at this time that would make you recommend a C-section?
  13. Do you have any resources that I can study about this topic?

Also, make sure you share your full medical history with your doctor. He or she will need to know how you handle anesthesia, what genetic diseases you might carry, and more.

Read More: Preparing for a Repeat C-Section

How can I make my C-section successful?

C-Sections Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

If you choose to have a C-section, there are several things you can do to make it as smooth as possible. 

First, do your homework. Ask your doctor questions; no question is dumb. Find classes specifically related to C-sections through your local hospital, mom groups, or nonprofits. InJoy offers a great online class for those looking to go that route.

Second, prepare for recovery. Get a notebook to help you track your medicine schedule. Order plenty of comfy pants and underwear – make them high-waisted so the band won’t sit on your incision area. Stock up on snacks rich in fiber, like apples and granola, to help you with any toileting troubles.

Third, ask for help, not only for the baby but for you, too. You may need help walking and showering for a few days. You’ll need to let someone drive you and your little one to doctor appointments for two weeks, or at least until you are off most medications. Those who love you will be happy to lend a hand, so don’t be afraid to speak up!

Read More: C-Section: Recovery Essentials

C-Sections Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

If you opt for a C-section, remember that it is a beautiful and legitimate way to bring life into the world! There is no shame in needing or wanting a C-section, and you will still get all the magical bonding moments with your little child that you’ve been dreaming of! You are a strong and loving mother! Giving birth is a serious business! The safety and well-being of you and your baby should be the top priority at all times. No matter what you decide, go into birth as prepared as you can be! To learn more about C-sections, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website.

Check out Top Baby Products You Need When Welcoming a New Baby for more advice, tips, and tricks.


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C-Sections Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

Why You Should Feng Shui Your Home

Ever stopped to ponder the invisible energies that shape the spaces we inhabit? Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice rooted in Taoist principles and offers profound insights into the interplay between energy, environment, and human experience. 

Feng Shui, literally translated as “wind and water,” is far more than a mere arrangement of furniture or placement of décor. It’s a philosophy that embraces the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, seeking to harmonize our home with the natural forces that surround us. Rooted in millennia-old wisdom, Feng Shui offers a holistic approach to design and living that transcends cultural boundaries.

In today’s fast-paced world, where stress and chaos are often unchecked, the importance of creating harmonious living environments cannot be overstated. Feng Shui provides a roadmap for achieving balance and tranquility in our homes and workplaces. By understanding the subtle energies that flow through our spaces, we can profoundly transform every aspect of our lives.

Feng Shui Meaning: The Practice of Feng Shui

Feng Shui is an ancient art that traces its origins back to ancient Chinese philosophy, deeply intertwined with the culture and spirituality of the time, reflecting its Taoist roots and purpose of harmonizing with the natural world. Here’s a glimpse of the rich history and evolution of this ancient practice:

Ancient Origins in China

  • Feng Shui’s roots can be traced back over 3,000 years to the early civilizations of China, where it initially developed as a system to explain the natural world and its influence on human life.
  • Ancient Chinese philosophers, including Feng Shui experts Confucius and Lao Tzu, contributed to the foundational principles of Feng Shui, emphasizing the importance of living in harmony with nature and harnessing its energies for success and well-being.

Development and Evolution Over Thousands of Years

  • Over the centuries, Feng Shui evolved from a rudimentary system of geomancy into a sophisticated art form, encompassing principles of architecture, urban planning, and interior design.
  • Various dynasties in Chinese history, such as the Han, Tang, and Song dynasties, contributed to the refinement and codification of Feng Shui practices, shaping it into the comprehensive system we recognize today.

Cultural Significance and Integration into Daily Life

  • Feng Shui permeated every aspect of Chinese culture, from the design of imperial palaces to the layout of humble dwellings.
  • It was believed that adhering to Feng Shui principles could bring wealth, longevity, and good fortune while neglecting them could invite misfortune and disaster.
  • Today, Feng Shui continues to play a significant role in Chinese culture and society, influencing everything from architecture and city planning to business practices and personal relationships.

Basic Principles of Feng Shui

At the heart of Feng Shui lie several core principles captured in a few Chinese words that form the foundation of its practice. Understanding these principles is essential for creating a mindful and peaceful home:

Qi (Chi) – The Vital Energy Force

  • Qi, often referred to as the life force or vital energy and the cornerstone of Feng Shui philosophy, plays a crucial role in fostering positive energy into your life.
  • According to Feng Shui principles, Qi flows through everything in the universe, including our bodies, homes, and natural landscapes.
  • The goal of Feng Shui is to ensure the free and unobstructed flow of Qi through our environment, promoting health, wealth, and happiness.

Yin and Yang – Balance and Harmony

  • Yin and Yang are complementary forces that represent the dualities of nature, such as light and dark, hot and cold, and male and female.
  • In Feng Shui, achieving balance between these two energies is essential for creating harmonious environments.
  • Balancing Yin and Yang energies in our homes and workplaces fosters a sense of equilibrium and well-being, essentially bringing positive energy into our daily lives.

Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water

  • The Five Elements of Feng Shui, also known as the Five Phases, are fundamental building blocks of Feng Shui theory.
  • Each element in Feng Shui’s meaning is associated with specific qualities and attributes, such as growth (wood), transformation (fire), stability (earth), refinement (metal), and flow (water), contributing to the overall energy of a space.
  • Balancing the Five Elements in Feng Shui within our environments promotes harmony and enhances the flow of Qi.

Feng Shui Bagua Map – The Map of Energy Zones

  • The Bagua is a symbolic map used in Feng Shui to identify the energy centers, or gua, within a space.
  • Each gua corresponds with different areas of your life, such as health, wealth, relationships, and career.
  • By aligning our spaces with the Bagua map and activating the appropriate gua, we can optimize the flow of Qi and improve the energy of our lives.

Understanding Qi and Energy Flow

Central to the practice of Feng Shui is the concept of Qi, the vital energy force that flows through all living things and environments. Let’s explore the significance of Qi and its role in energy flow:

Definition of Qi and Its Importance in Feng Shui

  • Qi is the invisible energy that animates and sustains all life, influencing our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
  • In Feng Shui, the quality and flow of Qi within a space directly impacts its occupants, affecting their health, happiness, and abundance.
  • By optimizing the flow of Qi through strategic design and arrangement, Feng Shui aims to create environments that support and nourish the inhabitants.

How Energy Moves Through Spaces

  • Qi flows through our spaces in a dynamic and ever-changing manner, influenced by factors such as architectural design, furniture placement, colors and shapes, and environmental conditions.
  • Obstructions or blockages in the flow of Qi can lead to stagnation, imbalance, and disharmony within a space, manifesting as physical ailments, emotional unrest, or financial difficulties.
  • Through careful observation and analysis, Feng Shui practitioners seek to identify and address areas of energy stagnation or imbalance, restoring the natural flow of Qi and revitalizing the space.

Impact of Energy Movement on Health, Wealth, and Relationships

  • The quality of Qi within a space directly impacts various aspects of our lives, including our physical health, financial wellness, and interpersonal relationships.
  • A well-balanced and harmonious flow of Qi promotes vitality, abundance, and harmonious relationships, while disruptions or imbalances can lead to illness, financial struggles, or conflict.
  • By aligning our environment with the principles of Feng Shui and optimizing the flow of Qi, we can create environments that support our well-being and foster success in all areas of life.

The Role of Yin and Yang

In the practice of Feng Shui, achieving balance between Yin and Yang energies is essential for creating harmonious and auspicious living environments. Here is a brief overview of ways to incorporate this balance into your life: 

Explanation of Yin and Yang Energies

  • Yin and Yang, concepts derived from Chinese philosophy, are two complementary forces that represent the dualities of nature, such as darkness and light, cold and hot, and stillness and movement, and are essential for bringing energy into balance.
  • Yin is associated with qualities such as receptivity, darkness, and introspection, while Yang represents activity, brightness, and outward expression.
  • In Feng Shui, balancing these two energies within a space is crucial for creating a harmonious environment that supports the well-being of its inhabitants.

Achieving Balance Between Yin and Yang

  • Achieving balance between these two energies involves ensuring that neither force dominates excessively within a space, thereby maintaining a positive flow of energy.
  • Too much Yin energy can lead to stagnation, lethargy, and emotional heaviness, while an excess of Yang energy can result in agitation, restlessness, and stress.
  • By integrating elements and design features that embody both qualities, such as soft curves and gentle lighting alongside angular shapes and vibrant colors, Feng Shui practitioners can create spaces that feel balanced and harmonious.

Practical Applications in Feng Shui

  • In Feng Shui practice, the principles of Yin and Yang are applied to various aspects of interior design and space planning.
  • For example, rooms with predominantly Yin energy, such as bedrooms or meditation spaces, may benefit from soft, soothing colors, plush textures, and gentle lighting to promote relaxation and restfulness.
  • Conversely, areas with a more Yang energy, such as a kitchen or home office, may benefit from brighter colors, dynamic shapes, and ample natural light to stimulate creativity and productivity.

The Bagua Map: Eight Areas

The Bagua map, a Feng Shui energy map, is a powerful tool to analyze and harmonize the flow of energy within a space. Let’s explore the fundamentals of the Bagua map and how it can be applied to enhance the energy of our living environments:

Introduction to the Bagua Map

  • The Bagua map is a symbolic energy map and representation of the eight fundamental aspects, or gua, of human life in the description of Feng Shui’s meaning.
  • Each gua corresponds to a specific area of life, such as wealth, health, relationships, and career, and is associated with a particular direction, element, and color.
  • By overlaying the Bagua map onto the floor plan of a space, Feng Shui practitioners can identify areas of imbalance or stagnation and implement remedies to enhance the flow of Qi.

Divisions and Representations of Life Aspects

  • The Bagua map is divided into nine equal sections, with the center representing the heart of the home or space and the eight surrounding gua representing different areas of life.
  • Each gua is associated with a specific aspect of human experience, such as family, wealth, fame, love, creativity, knowledge, career, and health.
  • By assessing the energy of each gua and making adjustments to align with its corresponding element and color, individuals can optimize the energy flow and promote harmony and abundance in their lives.

How to Apply the Bagua Map in Feng Shui Practice

  • To apply the Bagua map in Feng Shui practice, begin by superimposing the map onto the floor plan of your home or space, aligning the gua with the corresponding compass directions.
  • Identify areas of your home or space that correspond to each gua and assess the energy flow within those areas.
  • Implement Feng Shui remedies and enhancements, such as color schemes, decor, and furniture placement, to activate and balance the energy of each gua and promote positive outcomes in the corresponding areas of life.

How to Practice Feng Shui: Practical Applications

Feng Shui offers a wealth of practical techniques and strategies for optimizing the energy flow within our living spaces. Let’s explore some key practices and applications that can help us create harmonious and balanced environments:

Decluttering and Organizing Spaces

  • Decluttering is a fundamental aspect of Feng Shui, as clutter can obstruct the flow of Qi and create stagnant energy.
  • Remove unnecessary items and organize your space to create a sense of spaciousness and clarity.
  • Pay special attention to areas that tend to accumulate clutter, such as closets, cabinets, and entryways, and keep them tidy and well-organized.

Furniture Placement and Arrangement

  • The placement and arrangement of furniture play a crucial role in Feng Shui, as they can either facilitate or obstruct the flow of Qi within a space.
  • Position furniture in a way that promotes easy movement and access to key areas, such as doors and windows. Facing the door or having clear sight to the door is good Feng Shui.
  • Avoid placing furniture directly in line with the door or pathway of a room, or facing away from the door, as this can create obstacles to the flow of energy.

Color and Element Selection

  • Color is a powerful tool in Feng Shui, as different hues are associated with specific elements and energies.
  • Choose colors that correspond to the elements of the Bagua map and incorporate them into your decor and design scheme.
  • For example, use shades of green and blue to represent the wood element, which is associated with growth and vitality, or red and orange to represent the fire element, which symbolizes passion and energy.

Incorporating Feng Shui Principles in Interior Design

  • Integrating Feng Shui principles into interior design involves creating spaces that not only look beautiful but also feel harmonious and balanced.
  • Pay attention to the flow of energy within a space and make adjustments as needed to promote balance and well-being.
  • Experiment with different design elements, such as lighting, texture, and symbolism, to create a space that supports your goals and aspirations.

Benefits of Feng Shui: Tips

The practice of Feng Shui offers a wide range of benefits that extend beyond mere aesthetics, promoting harmony, abundance, and well-being in our lives. Here are some of the key advantages of incorporating Feng Shui principles, described as the art of placement, into our living spaces to enhance positive energy.

Improved Health and Well-being

  • Feng Shui, a Chinese philosophy, aims to create environments that support physical, emotional, and spiritual health by utilizing the Taoist understanding of nature.
  • By optimizing the flow of Qi and harmonizing the energy within our living spaces, Feng Shui can help alleviate stress, promote relaxation, and enhance overall well-being.
  • A well-balanced and harmonious environment can contribute to better sleep, increased energy levels, and a greater sense of vitality and vitality.

Enhanced Relationships and Communication

  • Feng Shui emphasizes the importance of creating spaces that foster positive interactions and harmonious relationships.
  • By aligning our living environments with the principles of Feng Shui, we can create spaces that promote open communication, mutual respect, and emotional connection.
  • A harmonious home environment can strengthen relationships with family members, friends, and romantic partners, fostering a sense of unity and support.

Increased Prosperity and Abundance

  • Feng Shui principles are often used to attract wealth and abundance into our lives.
  • By activating the wealth and abundance gua within our living spaces and removing obstacles, we can create environments that support financial success and abundance.
  • Feng Shui techniques such as enhancing the wealth corner, using symbols of prosperity like Fu, and incorporating elements of nature can help manifest our financial goals and aspirations while ensuring a flow of positive energy.

Use Feng Shui to Command Position in Your Life

This ancient practice offers profound insights and practical techniques for creating harmonious and balanced living environments. Bringing the practice of Feng Shui into your home, using Feng Shui colors, and finding creative ways to use Feng Shui creates balance, especially in the areas of your home where you spend most of your time. Here are some of the key takeaways to encourage further exploration of Feng Shui principles:

  • Feng Shui is far more than just a design philosophy—it’s a holistic approach to living that encompasses the interplay of energy, environment, and human experience.
  • By understanding and harnessing the subtle energies that flow through our spaces, we can create environments that support health, happiness, and prosperity.
  • Whether you’re new to Feng Shui or a seasoned practitioner, there’s always more to learn and explore.
  • Experiment with different Feng Shui techniques and practices to see what works best for you and your living environment.
  • Feng Shui is a vast and multifaceted field with many advanced techniques and applications.
  • Consider seeking guidance from experienced Feng Shui practitioners or exploring advanced topics such as flying stars, annual energies, and space clearing to deepen your understanding and practice.

Practicing Feng Shui can lead to profound transformations in every aspect of your life. Embrace the wisdom of Feng Shui to create greater harmony, prosperity, and well-being in your home and life.

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