assisted delivery c sectionA Caesarean birth means your baby is born by operation. An emergency Caesarean section (or C-section) may be performed for different reasons including:

  • the baby is getting stressed
  • your baby’s head is too big for your pelvis
  • your labour is not progressing quickly enough
  • eclampsia or severe pre-eclampsia in the mother

A Caesarean section that is planned in advance is called an elective C-Section, this is usually performed when;

  • Multiple pregnancy- for some twins and almost always for triplets or more
  • you have a low lying placenta, which is blocking your baby’s way out
  • your baby’s position makes vaginal delivery very difficult or impossible

Wherever possible, a Caesarean section is performed under regional anaesthetic using an epidural or spinal block. This means that you are awake and alert during the operation but you will not feel pain as you will be numb from the waist downwards. An incision is made at the base of your abdomen (called a bikini incision) and the baby is extracted through this. The obstetrician then stitches the incision which takes about 30 minutes. Most women remain in hospital for 5-7 days following a Caesarean section. The stitches are usually removed on the fifth day. During this time, you will be encouraged to get up and walk about; however you will need to avoid lifting or pushing for a number of weeks afterwards.