Have you ever heard this prayer, "you shall give birth like a Hebrew woman"? Well, i had a few people volunteer this prayer at me in both pregnancies. If you know anything about Some Nigerians, you will know that giving unsolicited advice is very common. I did not want this Hebrew birth in my two pregnancies.
I am Nigerian anyway and all I wanted was to give birth to my children in good health for all of us.

So what is special about 'giving birth like a Hebrew woman that some women pray for it?' My guess is that it has everything to do with this bible verse below:

The midwives answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive." (Exodus 1:19)

How lovely. Well, I definitely wanted my doctor and midwife to be there when baby arrived. I have never delivered a baby on my own, even though I had watched many episodes of "One born every minute" in my first pregnancy.

With my first pregnancy, I hoped to have a vaginal delivery. After all, that was how my mom had her 4 kids. I should have known my delivery was going to be different. This is because my pregnancy was nothing like my mother's. Anyway, my amazing doctor, told me to come in for an induction if I did not have any labour signs by 40 weeks + I made sure to have daily long walks, because everyone told me it would help labour. I was induced and it was quite painful when the doctor had to check if I was making progress. After a day, my cervix was still at 1cm dilated. I knew serving was wrong when the nurse came to check baby's heart rate for the last time. My doctor came in shortly to tell me my baby was in distress and we had to have an emergency csection to save baby's life. I had never been more scared. Me, Chinelo,who had never even had a tooth extraction was to have surgery? I burst into tears. My mom tried her best to comfort me. But i was not mentally prepared.

The surgery was a success. Both baby and I made it out alive. That was my biggest joy.
                 My first child, Chizaram

Nobody warned me of the pain that was to follow or that I would not be able to do some things because I had a csection. The cost as well was a lot.

Nothing prepared me for some things that happened after I had my csection. It was as if, it was supposed to be this big secret that I had surgery. Or something to be ashamed of. This came from some of the comments from people though. I got some "eh yah's" and a lot of comments about "did your mother not press your stomach? It's still so big". Well, no, she did not, because I had a csection. Another " eh yah". I had a few people tell me that maybe I did not exercise in pregnancy. Which is another way of saying I was lazy. These got to me and made me feel sad. But I always let them know that without a csection I would have lost that baby and possibly my life. So I am very lucky.

After having my second baby I got some comments to suggest I did not pray enough. Or the woman who tried to say a csection was an easier alternative for delivery. Or the man who was thanking God I did not have a csection. The interesting thing is that a lot of these comments came from educated people.
                My 2nd baby, Kamara

After going through the pain of surgery, I have zero time to feel bad for the opportunity to have a healthy baby and be alive. My second pregnancy was more challenging. I was hopeful for a VBAC -Vaginal Birth After Csection. But it did not work out, due to health reasons. I had a csection scheduled for 37weeks and still had to have it moved up to prevent further complications.

If you must pray, pray for a safe delivery. It does not matter how baby was delivered. Vaginal delivery or csection delivery are both normal delivery. All that matters is that baby and mommy are safe and healthy.

For those that still think less of a csection, I am a warrior mom who loves her battle scars.  I did not give birth like a Hebrew woman, I had a csection. Get over it!

Watch a video of my C-Section experience and stigma in Nigeria below:

Also, I'm sharing a snippet of my Interview with BBC News Africa on C-Section stigma in Nigeria.


  1. Nice write up. I had very similar experience my baby did not engage, no sign of labour after 40 weeks and the fluid was not sufficient for my baby. My doctor suggested induced labor but my hubby insisted we get second opinion. The Specialist we sought simply adviced us to do CS. After delivery I was made to feel ashamed. Someone told me that if you don't have vaginal delivery you would not be seen as a real woman. My second birth was the same CS and a close family member kept insisting that I should have vaginal delivery...I should try. We learn every day. My two cents...put yourself first biko.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience. Some people can be so mean. Like me you rightly wrote, put yourself first👍

  3. My pregnancy was progressing well until 29th week when I fell into preterm labour, it was a battle of two lives...the doctor wanted to try to stop the contraction but baby kept insisting on making her grand entry into the world. I was in serious pains for 52 long hours. Crying, praying and hoping. Contractions didn't stop and cervix didn't dilate past 2cm. The doctor eventually brought the worst news ever 'c-section'. I thought my world would end. My mum ran away saying she couldn't sign consent form, my dad kept thinking that was d last time he would see me. I braced myself and signed the 'dreaded' form. My theater experience was something else...my BP kept fluctuating, I couldn't breath well but finally baby was brought out with the cord round her neck twice!!! She weighed less than 2kg. Thankfully I healed fast and got home with my premie and the comments started... 'so you couldn't even push this tiny baby out' 'you must have been pampered in pregnancy' 'why are you walking like you are the first to have a baby' 'there's no point having an adult with you since we can't press your tummy' the worst of all 'you opted for the easy way'
    All these comments came from educated women. Today, I'm grateful for life and my beautiful kids

    1. Wow! Thank you for sharing your experience


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