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What is a c-section and why would I have one?

C-sections seem to be a hot topic right now, so what are the pros and cons of having a c-section and why would you need one? A caesarean section, or c-section, is the delivery of a baby through a surgical incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus. In certain circumstances, a c-section is scheduled in advance. In others, it's done in response to an unforeseen complication.

Caesarean births are on the rise. Almost one in every four women who gave birth in 2006 had a Caesarean section and C-sections accounted for 24.4 percent of the U.S. births that year, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The Reasons for the increase in Caesareans are varied. Some women are requesting Caesarean deliveries, even for their first child. Fear of pain, desire for convenience, lack of detailed child birthing information and concern over pelvic relaxation problems later in life are some of the major reasons experts list for the surgical delivery.

New mothers today often experience a great deal of fear surrounding the vaginal birthing process and more women are actually requesting to have a Caesarean birth for their first baby. The desire to be in control and a fear of pain are often driving these decisions. Sometimes it's clear that a woman will need a caesarean even before she goes into labour. For example, you may require a planned c-section if you're carrying more than one baby. (Some twins can be delivered vaginally, but most of the time higher-order multiples require a c-section.)

A c-section is major abdominal surgery, so it's riskier than a vaginal delivery. Although it is rare Mother’s who have c-sections are more likely to have an infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, a longer hospital stay, and a significantly longer recovery. In addition, if you plan to have more children, each c-section increases your future risk of these complications as well as placenta previa and placenta accreta. That said, not all c-sections can – or should – be prevented. In some situations, a c-section is necessary for the well-being of the mother, the baby, or both. Ask your practitioner exactly why they are recommending a c-section. Talk about the possible risks and advantages for you and your baby in your particular situation.

If you are interested in private maternity care the Simply Better Birth team are here to help and advise on any problems or concerns you may have with your pregnancy. If you would like more information on c-sections please get in touch with the independent midwives at Simply Better Births.

For more information on Caesarean Sections please visit