C-Section: Indications, Procedure, Pros & Cons of the Operation

A C-section is a surgical procedure in the process of which the child is extracted from the mother’s uterus through an incision in the abdomen. Such surgery is very common nowadays. According to statistics, one out of 6-8 women goes through a cesarean section. The risk during that procedure is 12 times higher than in the case of regular birth-giving. A cesarean section may be either scheduled (the surgery is prescribed during pregnancy) and emergency (such surgery is carried out, in case of complications that took place during natural childbirth)

Cesarean Section: Name Origin

The word “Caesar” – the Greek form of the Latin word “Caesar” (monarch, ruler). It is believed that the name of this surgery is directly related to the Gaius Julius Caesar himself. According to the legend, the mother of the future Roman Emperor died during contractions while giving birth to him. The frightened obstetricians had nothing to do but take a sharp knife and cut the belly of a pregnant: they hoped to save at least a child. To their happiness, the surgery was successful and the great monarch was born.

Since that time the surgery was supposedly nicknamed “Caesarean section”. On the other hand, the name may be related to the fact that during the reign of Caesar the law said that in the case of a mothers’ death in labor the child has to be saved. That should be done with the help of dissecting the abdominal wall and uterus and extraction of the fetus.


The first cesarean section on a living woman took place only in the year 1500. Swiss Jakob Nyufer, who made a living, castrating male pigs was the first to perform such a surgery. When thirteen experienced midwives were not able to help his pregnant wife he begged the City council for permission to let him do the Caesarean section on his own. Everything was successful and both the child and the mother were saved.

The Indications for Caesarean Section?

Despite the fact that cesarean section is one of the most common surgeries – it is still a surgery. The risk of complications is 12 times higher than when childbirth proceeds naturally. That is why there has to be a fair reason for a doctor to assign a pregnant to a Caesarean section. Only when the vaginal birth is impossible or too dangerous for a mother or a child, an obstetrician-gynecologist gives permission for surgery. Besides, the patients’ approval is required. The decision about the scheduled Caesarean section is taken before the due date in the following cases:

  • Severe myopia with changes in ocular fundus
  • Severe diabetes or rhesus conflict
  • Narrow pelvis, that challenges the passage of the fetus
  • Exacerbation of genital herpes and increased risk of infecting the fetus during its passage through the birth canal
  • Preeclampsia
  • Malformations of the uterus and vagina
  • Two or more scars on the uterus after previous births by cesarean section
  • Malposition (transverse, oblique) or placenta previa (it covers the cervix and does not allow the fetus to come out)
  • Prolonged pregnancy

The emergent Caesarean section mostly occurs when a woman cannot push the child out herself and has generally weak labor at giving birth (even after stimulating medications), or when there are signs of oxygen starvation of the fetus.

How Does The Surgery Go?

During the cesarean section the abdominal wall is opened, then the uterus cavity and the fetus are extracted. The wound on the uterus is sewed by continuous stitch, the abdominal wall is restored the brackets are applied to the skin of the abdomen. If everything goes well during the post-surgery period the patient is sent home after 6 or 7 days.

Cesarean section is performed under general anesthesia. Which anesthesia to choose the anesthesiologist determines depending on the pregnant woman and fetus’s condition. There are two types of anesthesia that are used nowadays: endotracheal (anesthesia is carried out to the respiratory tracks through the tube) or epidural ( the spinal needle is inserted into the spinal channel and the analgesic drug is inserted through it, 10-15 minutes after the body below the injection site is anesthetized). The second type is more popular as the woman remains conscious and that means she will be able to see her newborn baby.

Can a Cesarean Section be Performed Without Indications, as Desired?

In some countries, a Caesarean section can be done at the request of a woman. With the help of it, some pregnant women hope to avoid problems such as birth pain, an increase in vaginal size, and sections of the perineum. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers such tactics unnecessary. That is due to the fact that by avoiding some problems women may obtain other even more serious difficulties. To them, we carry child neurological disorders, along with after the surgery period, difficulties with lactation, the inability to give birth natural way in the future.

Disadvantages of C-Section

Psychological discomfort was caused to the mother. A lot of women suffer from realizing the fact that they hadn’t given birth on their own. Discomfort after the anesthesia includes nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Women are unable to take care of their children immediately. Also, it is impossible at first to breastfeed the child. Women also feel the pain in the wound which makes them stay in the bed for a few days after birth-giving. Possible complications after surgery requiring antibiotic therapy are also common.

Neurological violations of the child are possible as well. In addition, it is believed that babies which saw the light as the result of cesarean section appear to have difficulties adapting to environmental conditions because they are from very birth had their life simplified and they do not learn to “fight”. 

Although it was imperceptible in Gaius Julius Caesar the doctor’s conclusion is unambiguous-cesarean section is justified only when there is no possibility to carry out favorable in all respects natural childbirth. In all other cases, it is not only preferable but obligatory to perform childbirth in a regular way.


Advantages of the Method

Do not get despair in case you were assigned for the planned c-section – in some cases, if you have indications for the C-section – the operation is safer than the vaginal delivery. Even though surgery is not the case to speak about the pros – there are several if comparing to the most evident drawbacks of childbirth. Those, who are stressed by the fear of contracting pain, will not feel pain at all – the surgery is carried out with the use of anesthesia.

Also, the surgery excludes the risk of vaginal tears, which lead to the sewing of the tissues and the long restoration period. As for the vagina itself – it would go back to normal faster than in the case of the traditional birth in case the surgery was scheduled – the tissues of the birth canal and the vagina will not get the stretch load. These are a few benefits of the C-section procedure that may comfort you.