A cesarean delivery — also known as a C-section or cesarean section involves one incision in the mother’s abdomen and another in the uterus.A cesarean delivery is typically performed when complications from pregnancy make traditional vaginal birth difficult, or put the mother or child at risk.
Cesarean deliveries are generally avoided before 39 weeks of pregnancy so the child has proper time to develop in the womb. Sometimes, however, complications arise and a cesarean delivery must be performed prior to 39 weeks.Reasons for a cesarean delivery include:
- Baby has developmental conditions
- Baby’s head is too big for the birth canal
- The baby is coming out feet first (breech birth)
- Early pregnancy complications
- Mother’s health problems, such as high blood pressure or unstable heart disease
- Mother has active genital herpes that could be transmitted to the baby
- Previous cesarean delivery
- Problems with the placenta, such as placental abruption or placenta previa
- Problems with the umbilical cord
- Reduced oxygen supply to the baby
- Stalled labor
- The baby is coming out shoulder first (transverse labor)
Frequently Asked Questions
Women are given anesthesia from the level below the waist to help ease the process.
An average c-section takes 30-50 minutes to perform.
A minimum of two weeks is advised for a woman who has given birth through a c-section.