Cesarean Section

What is Cesarean Section?

A Cesarean section, sometimes referred to as a C-section, is a type of delivery in which a baby is born through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. A C-section is usually performed when a vaginal delivery would pose a risk to the mother or baby.

In some cases, the mother may elect to have a C-section, either because of health concerns or personal preference. C-sections are typically performed by a doctor in a hospital operating room.

Reasons for a Cesarean Section

Some of the reasons why a Cesarean section might be recommended include:

  • Cephalopelvic disproportion. This occurs when the baby’s head is too large to pass through the mother’s pelvis.
  • Abnormal positioning of the baby.
  • Fetal distress, when the baby’s heart rate shows signs that the baby is in danger.
  • Multiples, when a mother is carrying twins or more.
  • Health concerns for the mother, such as placenta previa, preeclampsia, or HIV.
  • Prior C-sections.

Preparing for a Cesarean Section

Before a Cesarean section, the doctor will explain the procedure in detail. The mother will need to have a physical exam and have any necessary lab tests. She may also need to have an ultrasound or other imaging tests.

A woman who is having a Cesarean section will be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours before the procedure. She will also receive medications and be connected to various monitors to monitor the baby’s heart rate.

The Cesarean Section Procedure

During the Cesarean section, the mother is given an epidural or spinal anesthesia to numb the area that will be operated on. The doctor will make an incision in the abdomen and uterus, and the baby will be delivered.

When the baby is born, the doctor will tie off the umbilical cord and suction the baby’s mouth and nose to help clear secretions. The doctor will then examine the baby and assess his or her breathing and temperature.

After the baby is born, the doctor will close the uterus and the incision in the mother’s abdomen. The mother may have to stay in the hospital for several days to make sure there are no complications.

Risks of Cesarean Section

Like any surgery, Cesarean sections have risks. Complications can occur in both the mother and the baby. Some of the potential risks of a Cesarean section include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Prolonged bleeding
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Uterine rupture
  • Developmental problems in the baby, such as respiratory issues

Recovering from a Cesarean Section

A woman who has had a Cesarean section will need to take it easy for several weeks after the procedure. She will have to be careful not to strain herself or lift anything too heavy. She also needs to get plenty of rest and follow her doctor’s instructions.

The mother may also experience some discomfort in her abdomen for several weeks after the Cesarean section. Pain medications such as ibuprofen may be used to help manage the pain.


Cesarean sections are a common and safe method of delivery. It is important for a woman who is considering a Cesarean section to discuss it with her doctor and understand all of the risks and benefits.