Caesarean Birth
Dr Danie Schneider
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Somerset West

Caesarean Birth

Caesarean birth (also known as a C-section) is the delivery of a baby through incisions made in the mother’s abdomen and uterus.

Did you know…?

There are various reasons a Caesarean birth is performed. They include:

  • Breech presentation (the baby is lying feet or bottom first)
  • A large baby
  • Failure to progress in labour
  • Problems with the placenta
  • Maternal medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Patient choice

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the complications with a Caesarean birth?

Complications may occur in a small number of women and are usually easily treated:

  • Infection
  • Blood loss
  • Blood clots in the leg or lungs
  • Injury to bowel or bladder
  • Reaction to medication used

What is a gentle C-section?

During a gentle C-section, the baby is delivered slowly to allow time for its chest to be squeezed on the way out, to clear the lungs of fluid as in a vaginal birth.

Your baby is kept at a level lower than your uterus to enable cord blood flow towards the baby. Your hands are free, your IV-line is in one hand, leaving your other hand free to hold and comfort your baby after birth. Skin-to-skin contact is introduced as soon as your baby is covered with a warm towel. Your baby will be allowed to stay with you as long as possible.

What is the difference between an emergency C-section and an elective C-section?

An elective operation is planned due to one or a number of the reasons above. Some women request a C-section even if a vaginal delivery is a safe option.

Even if you schedule a C-section, that doesn’t mean your baby will wait until that date to be born!

It is important to note that emergency C-sections done during labour have higher chances of complications than scheduled C-sections done before the onset of labour. Through comprehensive antenatal care, Dr Schneider will aim to become aware of any risks that could be avoided by a planned operation, rather than exposing yourself and your baby to an emergency procedure.