Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Cesarean Section
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:
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.
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.