Having a Cesarean Delivery

Reasons for a C-section

Reasons for elective c-section:

  • The baby is in an abnormal position (breech or transverse).
  • Placenta previa.
  • You've had extensive prior surgery on the uterus, including previous cesarean deliveries or removal of uterine fibroids.
  • Delivery of triplets or more.

Reasons for unplanned but nonemergency c-section:

  • The baby is too large in relation to the woman's pelvis to be delivered safely through the vagina — a condition known as cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) — or the position of the baby's head makes vaginal delivery unlikely.
  • Signs indicate that the baby is not tolerating labor.
  • Maternal medical conditions preclude safe vaginal delivery, such as severe cardiac disease.
  • Normal labor comes to a standstill.

Reasons for emergency c-section:

  • Bleeding is excessive.
  • The baby's umbilical cord pushes through the cervix when the membranes rupture.
  • Prolonged slowing of the baby's heart rate.

Other than the fact that the baby and placenta are delivered through an incision in the uterus rather than through the vagina, a cesarean delivery for the baby is of little difference. Babies delivered by a cesarean before labor usually don't have the conehead look, but they may if you are in labor for a long time before having a cesarean.