A cesarean section, called a C-section, is when a baby is surgically removed from a woman's uterus through an incision made in her abdomen, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The incision can be horizontal, which is most common, or vertical. Women who have horizontal incisions heal faster and bleed less than those with vertical incisions.Continue Reading
Some C-sections are performed for medical reasons and the safety of mother and baby, while others are completely elective. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, reasons for a medically necessary C-section include abnormal fetal position or heart rate, failure of labor to progress, a fetus too large for the vaginal opening, placenta previa or abruption, maternal HIV or herpes or multiple fetuses. A previous C-section is also a reason for a subsequent procedure because of the risk of the previous C-section scar coming open during delivery.
It is possible for a woman to have a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC), although the mother is monitored closely during labor. According to WebMD, four out of 10 women who try to have a VBAC end up needing to have another C-section.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, possible major complications of a C-section include bleeding, abnormal placental separation, an infection in the uterus or at the incision site and blood clots.Learn more about Childbirth