Top of the page
A caesarean section, or C-section, is the surgical delivery of an infant through an incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus. Some caesarean sections are planned when a known medical problem would make labour dangerous for the mother or baby, while others are done when a quick delivery is needed to ensure the mother's and infant's well-being.
Situations in which a caesarean section may be used include:
The incision may be made across the bottom of the abdomen above the pubic area (transverse) or, in certain cases, in a line from the navel to the pubic area (vertical). In many cases, a woman delivering by caesarean can remain awake during the childbirth and be with her newborn soon afterward.
A caesarean section is a surgical procedure, and recovery takes longer than after a vaginal delivery. A woman recovering from a caesarean delivery requires extra help during the first week or so after delivery.
Current as of: September 5, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.