Caesarean Section (or C-Section) is a surgical procedure that is performed under anesthesia through the abdomen and is done to help deliver a child.
An incision is made specifically into the abdomen and therefore into the Uterus.
This procedure is an alternate form of delivery than a vaginal delivery.
It has been done for several reasons and these will be discussed on this page.
As of 2006 – over 30% of births in the United States were done by C-section. This is the highest it has ever been.
Some clinics in Italy have a 80-90%% rate of Caesarean Section.
Possible Theories on the name Caesarean
1.) From the word Caederein latin which means “to cut”.
2.) From an ancient story by Pliny the Elder – reports a similar form of delivery
3.) From Roman legal code “Lex Caesarea” – a law that allows a baby to be cut from the mother only in cases of emergency or probable death of the mother
Reasons for Caesarean section
1.) When vaginal delivery may pose a risk to the Mother or the Child
2.) Recently women are choosing to have C-section to limit pain or other.
Risks to the Child
– Fetal distress
– Breech position
– Transverse placement
– Larger than expected baby
– Umbilical cord problems
Risks to the Mother
– Longer then expected delivery
– Placenta previa
– Placenta abruption
– Uterine rupture
– Mulitple births
Risks or Complications of having a Cesarean Section
– Mortality is plausible for both vaginal and C-section births
– Mortality rate is between 20-25 per 1,000,000
– UK reports a 3 times increase of mortality with a C-section than a vaginal birth
– May have increased risk with other pregnancies
*** – it must be noted that those who have C-section are often at more risk because of health concerns and are already at a higher concern than a “typical vaginal birth”
Types of C-sections:
1.) Lower Uterine Segment
– Transverse cut above bladder
– Most common type used today
2.) Classic Caesarean Section
– Incision along mid-line with a longitudinal incision
– Rarely performed today due to complications
3.) Repeat Caesarean
– Performed through the scar from a previous incision site
4.) Emergency Caesarean section
– Done after labor has begun
5.) Crash Caesarean section
– When quick action is required because of complication to mother and/or child
6.) Caesarean hysterectomy
– 1 type of C-section plus the removal of the uterus
– Done when complications cause problems with bleeding or removal of placenta
Vaginal delivery after having a C-section
– Past belief held – once a C-section, always a C-section
– However, vaginal delivery following a C-section is not uncommon
– The decision should be made between the mother and family along with the Physician
– If vaginal delivery is decided then the facility should be able to handle an emergency should one arise.
– Are increasing in number
– Some are for medical reasons
– Some are prescribe by Doctors
– Others are requested by the patient
*** – several medical providers argue that because of the concern of litigation with vaginal delivery – C-section
is a viable performed treatment option.
– Epidural is often used
– Spinal anesthesia is often used
– Can be either or together
– Often the mother is awake during the procedure
– This allows for decrease in risks of complications associated with anesthesia
– Also allows for mother and baby bonding and interaction following delivery