A caesarean section involves delivering a baby by making an incision in the abdomen and uterus of a pregnant woman through which a baby can be delivered. In some cases, a caesarean section is planned (elective). The reasons for an elective caesarean section include:
- The baby is in a breech position (feet first);
- The placenta is low-lying;
- Multiple gestation;
- Pregnancy-related high blood pressure;
- Infections which may affect the baby if born vaginally;
- Previous caesarean sections or surgery on the uterus;
- The baby appears large relative to the size of the pelvis of the pregnant woman;
- The pregnant woman chooses to have a caesarean section for personal reasons.
In some circumstances a caesarean section is non-elective. The reasons for a non-elective caesarean section include:
- Fetal distress;
- Ineffective uterine contractions;
- Failure to progress;
- Obstructed labour (i.e. due to cephalopelvic disproportion).
In Canada, approximately 28% of all births are by caesarean section. This rate is increasing every year.
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Understanding Birth Injuries
- Labour and delivery