Cesarean section, also known as C-section, is the use of surgery to deliver one or more babies. A Cesarean section is often performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby or mother at risk. This may include obstructed labor, twin pregnancy, high blood pressure in the mother, breech birth, problems with the placenta, umbilical cord or shape of the pelvis, and previous C-section. A trial of vaginal birth in some of these situations, including after C-section, may be possible. Some C-sections are also performed upon request.

A C-section typically takes 45 minutes to an hour. It may be done with a spinal block such that the women is awake or under general anesthesia. A urinary catheter is used to drain the bladder and the skin of the abdomen is then sterilized. An incisions of about 15 cm (6 inches) is then typically made through the mother’s lower abdomen. The uterus is then opened with a second incision and the baby delivered. The incisions are then stitched closed. A women can typically begin breastfeeding as soon as she is awake and out of the operating room. Often a number of days are required in hospital to recover sufficiently to go home.

C-sections result in a small overall increase in poor outcomes in low risk pregnancies. They also typically take longer to heal from, about six weeks, than vaginal birth. The increased risks include breathing problems in the baby and amniotic fluid embolism and postpartum bleeding in the mother. Established guidelines recommend that cesarean sections not be used before 39 weeks of pregnancy without a medical reason. The method of delivery does not appear to have an effect on subsequent sexual function.

video by Sarah Cooke

Caesarean section. (2016, October 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:54, October 7, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Caesarean_section&oldid=742991305