There's a super-important lesson in Lisa Ling's less-than-ideal C-section experience.
Reporter and mom Lisa Ling is the first to admit she has a type-A personality and likes to schedule everything. As a fellow control freak, I can so relate to the relief the former View co-host felt when she learned that her first child, Jett, would need to be delivered via C-section, because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. Because, Ling says in the first part of her new digital series This Is Birth, at least the delivery would be scheduled, and Ling and her husband Dr. Paul Song could plan their lives around their new arrival.
But then Ling ended up scheduling an elective C-section to deliver her second child, Ray. And that experience was far from ideal.
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"Unlike my first c-section incision, this one didn't seem to be healing as quickly," she writes. "In fact, I was experiencing a lot more pain than I did with my first and at one point, fluid began leaking from the incision. I had developed an extremely painful infection and it was awful... My husband, who is a doctor himself, suspects that I may have picked up the infection in the hospital."
Given her painful recovery, Ling now admits she should had done more research about the potential risks of having a C-section. Perhaps if she'd learned more about what could go wrong, she would have opted to attempt a VBAC, a vaginal birth after having a C-section. Perhaps not. The point is not that C-sections are in any way better or worse than other birthing methods, but simply that it's always a good idea to know as much as you can about your birth options.
Labor & Delivery: What to Expect in a C-Section
In some cases, like with Ling's first child, a C-section is the safest way to deliver a healthy baby. In other cases, it may not be. Every woman and situation is different. The takeaway from Ling's experience is that arming yourself with all the facts about birth in any circumstance will help you make the best decision for you and your family.
What's your reaction to Lings' admission that she regrets having another C-section?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.