A Cesarean birth (C-section) is the delivery of your baby through incisions made in your abdomen and uterus. All elective c-sections are performed at or after 39 weeks gestation.
A Cesarean delivery is performed when a vaginal delivery risks the well-being of you and/or your baby; about 30% of all deliveries are performed by C-section. Some of the reasons are:
- Cephalopelvic disproportion: Your baby is too large to fit through your pelvis.
- Dystocia: The cervix fails to dilate; unsuccessful induction.
- Fetal distress: Your baby is not getting enough oxygen or has other problems.
- Malpresentation: A body part other than the baby's head is closest to the cervix.
- Maternal medical conditions: You have one or more of the following: an active vaginal infection, sexually transmitted diseases, preeclampsia, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease.
- Multiple birth: You are carrying more than one baby.
- Placenta abruptio: Your placenta separates from the uterus before baby is born.
- Placenta previa: Your placenta blocks the cervix.
- Previous uterine surgery: You have a risk of a uterine scar rupturing.
- Umbilical cord prolapse: The umbilical cord comes into vagina first.
Be sure to read about what to expect with a C-section delivery and C-section recovery at the hospital.