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Celebrity C-sections: The powerful stories + scars from these honest mamas

Amy Schumer, Jessica Simpson and more open up.

Celebrity C-sections: The powerful stories + scars from these honest mamas

Nearly a third of all births in the United States are Cesarean deliveries. C-sections are more common than you might think and many high-profile mamas are speaking up about their own C-sections—from the experience to their healing process and scars. We love that these mothers are using their platform to show the reality of Cesarean birth and recovery.

Here are five of their (powerfully honest) stories:

Amy Schumer describes her 3-hour C-section in new interview

Amy Schumer has been very open about her pregnancy experiences, detailing her battle with hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness that saw her vomiting daily, in real-time on Instagram. But she has not talked much about how her challenging pregnancy factored into her birth experience...until now.

In a recent interview for the Informed Pregnancy podcast, Schumer told prenatal chiropractor, childbirth educator and labor doula Dr. Elliot Berlin her C-section story, and it proves she is one strong mama.

"It was a rainy Sunday and I woke up vomiting and was like the sickest I'd been the whole time," says Schumer, who needed many IVs through her pregnancy as the constant vomiting dehydrated her. "And I was like, 'I can't do this anymore.' I was so big and I was so miserable and couldn't keep anything down."

Schumer says that because of her endometriosis her doctors knew she would need to have a C-section, and her conditions complicated the surgery. "I was throwing up through the first hour of my C-section. It's supposed to take about an hour and a half—mine took over three hours because of my endometriosis," she explains.

Schumer doesn't sugarcoat how difficult her birth experience was, but she says the support of her medical team and her husband Chris made her feel safe...and when it was over her life had changed.

"Chris was so great—we just stared in each other's eyes and he just held me there. Then they let me hold Gene for a good amount of time. I got to see him and hold him."

While Schumer says recovering from the C-section was very difficult, the relief of not throwing up any more was incredible. Her story proves that pregnancy can be very hard on a person's body and that having support during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period is essential.

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson's third child was born via C-section in 2019 and she took to social media to let the world know that recovering from birth (and surgery) isn't easy, and that we need to remember to care for mothers, too.

"Recovering from a C-Section is no joke!" Simpson wrote in an Instagram post. "I think we all get so carried away with the excitement of having a new baby that we forget that we are going in for major surgery. Then on top of that, we get home from the hospital, have to recover from the surgery, balance our new life as a parent to three kids and be a wife."

Simpson is right, recovery isn't easy and moms need support so that they can heal, too.

Kate Mara 

After suffering a miscarriage with her first pregnancy, actress Kate Mara had a specific plan for her birth during her second pregnancy.

Unfortunately, medical complications changed everything and a low intervention birth wasn't possible.

"Right before I went in for the C-section, that's when I sort of [felt] the devastation of it and the disappointment of not being able to experience a birth any way that I had hoped," Mara told Dr. Elliot Berlin of the Informed Pregnancy podcast.

She continues: "I was so scared to have the C-section, to have this surgery. I was genuinely terrified of what that meant and what could happen and all of these things, and then of course just being tired made me that much more scared, I think."

Fortunately, Mara's partner, actor Jamie Bell, was by her side and when their daughter was born, he brought her over to Mara and held the baby for her because she couldn't. It wasn't the birth that she had imagined, but it was the birth she needed and she is thankful for it.

Jessie James Decker 

Singer Jessie James Decker didn't hide her postpartum body or C-section scar when recovering from her Caesarean delivery. She shared her story and her scar because she didn't want other moms to see her photos and think that her bump had instantly melted away. It wasn't a miracle, she explained, just good styling.

"My tummy is still swollen and you can see my c-section scar and pooch! I had another [C-section] due to my 9lb baby and petite frame. So no rushing and no stressing about losing weight! Wanted to make sure y'all saw what my tummy looks like under the tank top and blazer... I do wear a belly waist train thingy a few hours here n there which helps C-section mamas and swelling to go down. I am so glad we all can support each other. Being a mommy is so rewarding but hard work so we need to stick together and help each other out."

Jenny Mollen 

When actor and author Jenny Mollen was two weeks postpartum, she posted the kind of photo she wished she'd seen when she was a newly pregnant mom-to-be.

"I just met my new C-section scar for the first time this morning. Thank you Dr. Albert Sassoon for your artistry. Because I wish somebody had shown me a pic like this 9 months ago, I'd like to insist this be your new business card," she wrote.

It is important for people to get to see images of postpartum bodies because bumps don't shrink instantly, and lines and scars don't fade overnight either.

Mollen's post is her post-birth reality and it is beautiful.

[A version of this post was first published July 15, 2019. It has been updated.]

After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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