A Cesarean birth, or Cesarean birth, is the delivery of a baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen. A baby is delivered this way if ordinary vaginal delivery would put health of a mother or baby at risk for any of several reasons.
A Cesarean birth may be done to help the mother if: the baby's head is too large to pass through her pelvislabor has gone on too long without enough progressthe baby is in a position that will make a vaginal birth difficultthe mother is having medical problems, such as kidney failure or high blood pressure that can signal a dangerous health condition called pre-eclampsiathe mother is bleeding internally from a traumatic eventthe mother has a history of infertility, especially if she is older than age 40an earlier pregnancy resulted in the birth of a stillborn babyserious health problems, such as cancer or a coma, make it doubtful that a mother can withstand the stress of labora mother's pelvis is unusually shapeda mother has had two or more previous Cesarean birthsa mother's water breaks and her baby is not in a head-down position for delivery
A c-Cesarean birth may be done to help the baby if: the baby is not getting enough oxygenthe baby's heart rate rises to an unhealthy level due to problems such as a fever in the mother or infection in the babythe heart rate drops too low, possibly because the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neckhe or she is part of a multiple birth, such as twins or tripletsthere is placenta abruptio, where the placenta tears away from the uterus too earlythere is placenta previa, which happens when the placenta is touching or blocking the outlet of the uterus. An attenpt to deliver a baby naturally under this condition could result in massive bleedingthe baby has defects or health problems that may cause distress during laborthe baby has not been growing at a healthy rate, a condition known as intrauterine growth retardationthe mother has an active herpes outbreak in or near her vagina
The woman is usually awake for a Cesarean birth. Spinal or epidural anesthesia may be used to prevent pain in the lower half of the body. However, on occasion, general anesthesia must be used—especially in emergency cases.
The surgeon makes an incision just above the pubic hair or cuts through a previous abdominal incision. He or she must cut through many layers of the mother's tissues to get to the uterus. Then the lower portion of the uterus close to the bladder is opened. The baby's head is brought out through this incision, followed by the rest of his or her body, the umbilical cord, and the placenta.
The uterus and all the layers of tissue and skin on top of it are then closed with stitches or staples.