What is a cesarean delivery?

Dr. Tessie M. Larrieu, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

In this video, Tessie Larrieu, MD, in obstetrics and gynecology at Mercy Hospital describes a cesarean delivery and why it's becoming more popular in the United States.

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A cesarean delivery is the surgical procedure that is performed to deliver a baby if a vaginal delivery is not possible for any reason. This procedure is done in the operating room and involves an incision on the lower part of your abdomen. A cesarean delivery may be performed if there is concern for the safety of the infant or if a pregnant woman is experiencing labor that is not progressing. After a cesarean section you will stay in the hospital for an average of three days before going home.

Cesarean birth (also called c-section) is surgery in which your baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus. Most babies are born through vaginal birth. But if there are problems with your pregnancy or with your baby’s health, you may need to have your baby by c-section. If you’re planning to schedule a c-section, talk to your healthcare provider about waiting until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy. This gives your baby the time he needs to grow and develop before birth. Learn more at

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