Cesarean Sections

In This Article:

Types of cesereans

A cesarean section is the delivery of your baby by means of a cut in the abdomen. A cesarean rate of around 10-15 percent is thought to be reasonable, although in most Western countries the rate has risen beyond 20 percent and around 30 percent of all babies in the US are now delivered by cesarean, an all-time high.

The increase is due to a higher incidence of cesareans in first-time mothers and a lower incidence of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) in subsequent pregnancies. Some women may think that cesareans are safer for the baby than a vaginal birth. In fact, if you've had an uncomplicated pregnancy, a cesarean is hard to justify on medical grounds.

Types of cesarean

Cesareans are either emergency or planned procedures. The doctor will assess its urgency with a grading scale. A Grade 1 cesarean is one that is done if there is an immediate threat to the baby's or mother's life. A Grade 2 cesarean is one where there is concern for the baby's or mother's well-being, but no immediate threat to life. A Grade 3 cesarean is done when there is no immediate concern for the mother or the baby, but an early delivery is advised, perhaps because of a condition in the mother or baby. A Grade 4 cesarean is an elective delivery planned to suit the woman and the hospital.

Emergency cesareans

A Grade 1 cesarean is most commonly carried out when the baby is thought to be at risk, for example if the baby's oxygen supply has been reduced and there are signs of fetal distress. In this case, the staff will try to do the cesarean rapidly-within 30 minutes when possible, although it's important that shortcuts aren't taken that could put your own health at unnecessary risk.

Grade 2 and Grade 3 cesareans take place when there's no immediate threat to life, and these are more common than Grade 1 procedures. A Grade 2 cesarean may be done if your baby's heart rate is causing concern very early in labor and the prospect of a vaginal delivery taking place within a reasonably short time is low. An example of a Grade 3 cesarean is one that is done because of a failed induction of labor.

Elective cesareans

Around one third of cesareans are elective, or Grade 4 procedures, and the number of these has increased greatly in recent years. Reasons for an elective cesarean include a Low-lying placenta); or there are severe pelvic abnormalities in the birth canal. Some maternal medical conditions also mean that vaginal birth is not advisable.

 Previous   1   2   3   Next 

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

Quick Polls

Q: When did you start wearing maternity clothes?


Before 14 weeks


Between 14-20 weeks


After 20 weeks

1516 Total votes cast.


Create Your Baby Registry with Target
Do you have everything you need to care for your new bundle of joy? Create your Target baby registry today!

6 Tips to Help Your Marriage Survive a New Baby
When the going gets tough, follow these tips to help your marriage during the stressful newborn months.

Where Should Newborns Sleep? Comparing Bassinets, Cradles & More
Where will your bundle of joy sleep when she comes home? Get shopping and safety tips for choosing a bassinet, play yard, or other crib alternative that will fit in your bedroom, per AAP guidelines.

Top 100 Baby Names of 2015
Want to see which baby girl names and boy names are hot in the U.S. right now? Check out these lists from the S.S.A., and click on the names to see their meanings!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

© 2000-2015  Sandbox Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.