Cesarean Delivery (C-Section) & Pregnancy

What happens during a caesarean section (C-section)?

A Answers (4)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    If you and your birthing team decide on a C-section, you'll receive a spinal/epidural-block anesthetic. Then they'll sterilize your skin; make the incision above the hairline (pubic obviously), and peel the bladder off the lower part of the cervix so the baby can be delivered through an incision low in the uterus.

    A low incision is the key to having a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section - for the next child, you do not have to undergo it twice for this one). If the incision is high in the uterus where the muscle contracts, when the uterine muscle thins and contracts during the next pregnancy, it is more likely to burst, so your doctor would recommend a planned cesarean for subsequent pregnancies.
  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Visible Productions Pregnancy C Section
    In a caesarean section, the doctor may make a horizontal or a vertical incision to deliver the baby.

    Watch this video to learn more from Dr. Oz about what happens during a caesarean section.

  • AHealthwise answered

    A cesarean section, or C-section, is the surgical delivery of an infant through an incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus. Some cesarean sections are planned when a known medical problem would make labor dangerous for the mother or baby, while others are done when a quick delivery is needed to ensure the mother's and infant's well-being. Situations in which a cesarean section may be used include:

    • Fetal distress.
    • Stalled labor that doesn't respond to medicines or other methods.
    • Breech delivery.
    • Placenta problems.
    • A mother's HIV or active genital herpes infection.
    • Some multiple pregnancies.
    • Umbilical cord problems that reduce blood flow to the fetus.
    • Maternal illness that makes it dangerous to undergo the stress of a vaginal birth.

    The incision may be made across the bottom of the abdomen above the pubic area (transverse) or, in certain cases, in a line from the navel to the pubic area (vertical). In many cases, a woman delivering by cesarean can remain awake during the childbirth and be with her newborn soon afterward.

    A cesarean section is a surgical procedure, and recovery takes longer than after a vaginal delivery. A woman recovering from a cesarean delivery requires extra help during the first week or so after delivery.

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. To learn more visit

    © Healthwise, Incorporated.

  • AKevin Windom, MD, OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered

    During cesarean section, the patient is given epidural or spinal anesthesia.  When the patient is comfortable, her abdomen is cleaned and draped.  A "bikini incision" is made just above the pubic bone and opened to the connective tissue over the abdominal muscles.  The abdominal muscles are then separated (NOT CUT) and the peritoneal cavity, which lines the entire abdomen, is opened.  The uterus is visualized and a transverse incision is made on the lower uterine segment to delivery the baby. The cord is doubly clamped and cut. The infant is handed off to a neonatal team. The cord blood is obtained, and the placenta removed from the uterus.  The uterus is sewn up and placed back into the abdominal cavity, the layers are closed.  The patient goes to the recovery room.

Did You See?  Close
What are the risks of having a caesarean section (C-section)?