What is a Caesarean Section?

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A caesarean section is a surgical technique performed to remove the baby and placenta from the mother's uterus when vaginal delivery is not possible. The different types of caesarean section are: elective, during labour or if complications occur; and urgent, depending on the reason and the degree of urgency for the baby to be born.

Types of Caesarean Section

There are different types of caesarean section depending on the reason and the degree of urgency for the baby to be born.

  • Elective caesarean section. This is a caesarean section performed on a scheduled basis in pregnant women who have a maternal or foetal disease that contraindicates or advises against a vaginal delivery, such as a baby in the breech position or when the baby’s weight is suspected to be above 5 kg. Elective caesarean sections are routinely scheduled after 39 weeks of pregnancy to reduce possible respiratory complications in the baby.
  • Caesarean section during labour or with complications. This type of caesarean section is performed during labour. Included in this group are those that are performed due to suspicion of foetal pelvic disproportion; when delivery conditions are not achieved when the birth is induced; when there is inadequate dilation of the cervix or when the baby's head does not appear. In no case is there an imminent risk for either the mother or baby.
  • Urgent caesarean section. This is carried out following serious acute illness of the mother or baby (e.g. placental abruption, umbilical cord prolapse or suspected loss of foetal well-being), with a serious risk for the mother or baby; making it advisable to deliver the baby as quickly as possible.


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