Caesarean Section – FAQs
Did you know, a C-section (or caesarean section) is one of the most common surgeries in the world? In fact, in many countries, more women now give birth by this method as compared to women in their mothers’ and grandmothers’ generation.
So if you may have been asked to go in for a C-section, or if you know someone who has, here are some of the answers to frequently asked questions about this kind of delivery:
What is a C-section?
This is a type of surgery where a surgical cut is made in a pregnant woman’s front wall of the womb and abdomen, in order to deliver the baby. Sometimes, these surgeries are “elective” or pre-planned (for different reasons) or it may be an emergency procedure, as decided by the doctor.
Why does a woman need a C-section?
The most common reason why a doctor may recommend a C-section is if he feels that a “normal” (i.e. vaginal) delivery may put the mother or baby at risk. For e.g.,
- If labour does not progress like it’s supposed to
- If the baby is in “breech”, where the bottom is positioned towards the opening of the womb, and not the head
- If the mother has “placenta previa”, where the placenta (which helps to supply nutrients and remove waste from the fetus) blocks part of the entrance of the womb
- If the mother has delivered previous babies via a C-section
There are many other reasons including high blood pressure and being older. A woman’s doctor will usually discuss all the options and reasons with her during her pre-natal discussions.
Can a woman feel the pain during a C-section?
For a C-section, a woman is usually under a local or regional anaesthetic (spinal/epidural). This means that the lower part of her body will feel numb, but she is awake during the surgery.
Does a C-section mean a longer recovery for the mother?
Yes, it usually does. While a normal delivery usually means 1-2 days recovery at the hospital, giving birth via a C-section may require the mother to spend 3-4 days recovering at the hospital before going home.
- World Health Organization. Caesarean sections should only be performed when medically necessary. 10 April 2015. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/caesarean-sections/en/.
- NHS Choices. Caesarean section. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Caesarean-section/Pages/Introduction.aspx.