Cesarian Birth and Relationships

by Sondra Ray and Bob Mandell

from Birth and Relationships ---Chapter 13: CESARIAN

In a sense, "cesarians" have it easier. They don't have to plow through the birth canal to make it; nor do they have to be as guilty about causing their mothers pain. A simple incision does the trick. And nowadays, a c-section is a minor surgical procedure which makes birth quicker and easier for mother, doctor, and child.

In a sense!

The cesarian child, however, often suffers from interruption syndrome since his original direction in life was rudely interrupted by the obstetrician. (Nowadays, there is a proliferation of cesarians, often simply to please the doctor, fit his schedule, his golf game, whatever.)

He will often grow into a headstrong adult who insists on doing things his own way, often at his own expense. At the same time, the more he insists on going his own way in life, the more likely he is to attract unforseen interruptions blocking his path. He seems to want to make the journey through the birth canal he never made in the first place. He knows he knows how to do it, if only everyone else would leave him alone!

But they never do. People get in the way. Often, when cesarians are being rebirthed, they will create constant interruptions to upset themselves, evoking the confusion they experienced when coming out. A cesarian's relationships tend to be characterized by conflicts of will, changes of heart and mind, and constant disruptions. We've known several cesarian couples, and usually they are looking for someone outside the relationship to tell them which way to go in life, then resenting it and doing the opposite. If one partner is cesarian and the other is not, the latter can be set up to be the obstetrician— which happens in many relationships.

Support can be a major issue for cesarians. On the one hand, they want it desperately; on the other hand, they mistrust it and see all support as manipulation, interference, and opposition.

"I want to do it my way!" is the cry of the cesarian, at the same time thinking, "I better get some help or I'll never get out of this." The cesarian's double bind produces confusion at every crossroad of life. Let him drive a car, give him clear directions, and the journey will become a major obstacle course. "You say "Turn left," and he'll turn right, "You can bet on it. "You say "North," and he'll go south.

Cesarians crave physical affection. Because they never received the initial massage the walls of the birth canal provide, they need a lot of extra hugging, holding, and cuddling as children. If they don't get it as children, they may still need what seems like an excess of caressing as adults.

Cesarians do have the potential for seeing the easy way out. When they relax into this knowledge, they are a vast storehouse for shortcuts in life. Once they get over their guilt for not doing it the hard way in the first place, they can enjoy the innocence of their own intuitive know-how. They can save us all a lot of time and energy.

Every birth contains an unknown gift!

One of our students reports,

At my birth the doctors came into the womb with a knife to get me out. I felt like my space was invaded without my permission. Today I feel that sometimes people come up and want to get inside my space, and I don't want them there. I feel the same inability to effectively communicate to them to leave me alone. Since 1 was removed from my mother without her touching me, I felt very rejected. Most of my life I was afraid that if 1 really wanted to be with someone, they would send me away, so I was always afraid of being rejected.

I felt very angry and humiliated at my birth and that the doctors and nurses didn't receive my communication. My primary relationship today has difficulty hearing and is always asking me to repeat myself.  I get angry when I have to repeat what I said.

Since I didn't get out of the womb by myself, I get afraid that emergencies are going to happen, and I need to be surrounded by people capable of saving me.

I thought I hurt my mother at birth, and I am always thinking people are accusing me of causing them pain.

One graduate writes of her cesarian birth,

The circumstances of my parents' relationship at conception and birth definitely have affected my relationships. Following my brother's vaginal stillbirth, my parents separated. They came together again to have a baby (me) to heal their relationship. Inside the womb I felt anxious and afraid like I had to get out or die like my brother. I kicked my foot and broke the water five weeks early. I was born via c-section, and my mother's first words after my birth to the obstetrician were, "I consider you next to God." And then I was taken away from her for twenty-four hours. I screamed in the nursery all the time, and when brought to my mother to nurse, I'd fall asleep.

Those first decisions have affected the relationships I have with people in my life. I fed I hurt people because people have to die so I can live (my brother), and my mother was hurt at my birth. I feel guilty because I caused the separation from my mother (and God), and because my birth was so easy for me.

I also create struggle with people because I struggled with the obstetrician and the nurses at my birth. I consciously became a nurse to help people because my mother was hurt by insensitive nurses. My unconscious reason was because I was afraid I had hurt people. I also married a doctor (who I struggle with—doctors are next to God) and am presently a birth assistant. In my relationship with myself, I frequently feel isolated, depressed, and unloved. When I ask for help, it's usually by screaming helplessly, and when not responded to, I cry myself to sleep.

A staff member recalls,

I was transverse lay, cesarian, anesthesia, brief time in incubator, and asleep first three days after birth from anesthesia.

I have great difficulty going directly towards people/careers that I really want. Even very big decisions are made very quickly—cesarian style. Once I arrive in a relationship, city, or career, it is often not clear how I got there, and I spend some time in the early stages of relationship somewhat unconscious. I do feel that there is sometimes a bit of a wall (incubator) between myself and others.

One client reports,

I was cesarian, born with rickets. Anesthesia was used and there was subsequent maternal damage and hysterectomy. Having convinced myself that I hurt people and they probably wouldn't like me anyway, it's been my policy to stay away, to create emotional distance and let passion and sensation take the place of loving trust.

As a person who has been yanked out, untimely ripped, 1 have a feeling that I yank myself out of relationships, and I've walked out of a couple of truly fine ones and dozens of ones of lesser magnitude. I feel unlovable and selfconcious that there's something wrong with me, perhaps because I was born with rickets and must have been something of a disappointment to a family that prefers perfection.

The presence of anesthesia during the cesarian section probably has a lot to do with the fact that I stayed high on pot for fifteen years and drank daily for most of that time. Maybe the lesson was that consciousness is painful.

A cesarian graduate of the LRT writes,

During any relationship that I have, I immediately feel as if I am at the effect of the other person. I create men to be my obstetrician. Being smothered is a feeling I usually get when there is love present, so I feel the need to leave my body. I got a lot of anesthesia during my birth, so when I am touched, my body feels numb with anesthesia. I never feel as if I can do anything myself, and when I do, my body goes numb, and it's as if I never accomplished anything. During my birth, I felt a knife come to my back, but not touch me, so often 1 feel that support will kill me, and I am suspicious of love from other people.. .even myself, sometimes.

During my birth, I believed I was going to decide to be born when I wanted to, but the doctor decided instead, so during sex when I feel I am about to climax, I feel that it will be taken away from me, so instead of being disappointed by my mate, I cut off myself first by going unconscious.

A former client writes,

My birth script was cesarian delivery because of the cord being wrapped around my neck and not being able to come down the birth canal. My mother was anesthetized, and I was separated because of an infection.

The way that my birth has affected my relationships is that I have often felt strangled and overpowered by women, yet wanted to be rescued, or "pulled out." Also, my relationships have been mostly struggle and pain. I have often felt like I couldn't do it right, or my way wasn't right. I also have an obsession with vaginas. I buy lots of magazines with pictures of vaginas. Lately, I have thought that I wasn't good enough to have it easy at birth, or to have an easy, lasting relationship, because I thought that eventually I would be separated from the ones that I love.

Another staff member recalls,

I was stuck near Mom's pelvic bone. I was cesarian; turmoil, confusion, and anxiety surrounding my birth. I was unplanned; my birth was difficult, painful, and rushed. Mom was weak and undernourished, heavily anesthetized, and not really there. I was not breastfed for long—separation not only at birth, but both parents worked a lot and weren't home when I was an infant. Mom and Dad had an arranged marriage, and there was a lot of uncertainty in their relationship and arguments—guilt in hurting Mom at birth.

The main way my birth affects my relationships is that I find it more difficult to breathe in a relationship or when I'm with people than when I'm alone. There is a problem with not enough space, time, and air to breathe. Sometimes I just want to get out of there. The turmoil, confusion, and anxiety that existed not only about my birth, but also in regard to my newly married parents, keep manifesting in my own relationships. Most of my loving relationships happen by surprise and when I'm not expecting to become involved. I usually manifest women with small breasts, and to this degree, I feel undernourished. Also, my loved ones seem to be anesthetized (at times) when I want to make love or play.

I always seem to have to wait for things to happen, and then I usually feel rushed by my partner. I also feel lots of struggle and arguments in some of my relationships. I have lots of fear in saying no, especially to women. Because Mom and Dad were always working, they had very little time to nourish me, and so this also happens in my relationships where my partner is too busy working or is too tired to play.

In conclusion, my claustrophobia keeps me separate to a degree, and, in addition, I need support and assistance from friends in my relationships—to be hauled out of problems and turmoils when I feel stuck.

Another graduate reports,

Eight babies were being born at the same time I was, so I'm always concerned with others' births—I want them to get born with me.

For three days, I was asleep, and I astrally traveled around the hospital seeing how things could be better, so I always want to heal systems, like educational systems, etc.

Being cesarian, it always feels like I'm moving slowly, and then all of a sudden, it's done and everything is finished.

Being asleep the first three days, I never know how anything gets done. Things just seem to get done psychically.

I rarely go straight for what I want, so I go sideways, and then it just happens.


(1) They suffer from "interruption syndrome;"
(2) often, they have a fear of knives and sharp instruments;
(3) they can't do it by themselves;
(4) they resent others manipulating them;
(5) they often crave touching;
(6) often they are indirect in their communications;
(7) they tend to think they do it wrong;
(9) they find it difficult to make decisions;
(10) they're kind of "damned if they do, damned if they don't;"
(11) they have a hard time completing things.


(1) I am innocent.
(2) My way is the right way.
(3) I can always find the easy way.
(4) I'm right in the first place.
(5) All my interruptions are for my highest good.
(6) I forgive my mother completely.
(7) It's safe to do things differently.
(8) I forgive myself for doing things differently.
(9) I deserve all the touching and holding I desire.
(10) I'm always in the right place at the right time.
(11) It's safe to be in my body.
(12) I can trust my intuition.
(13) It's safe for me to complete things.