A C-section may either be planned, or may be performed as emergency surgery if complications arise during labour.
• Your baby is in the breech position (bottom first). (Occasionally, the baby can still be delivered normally in the breech position.)
• Your pelvis is too narrow.
• You have had a C-section before.
An emergency C-section
An emergency C-section is performed if there are complications during the delivery and the baby needs to come out urgently, for instance if the baby's head is incorrectly positioned in the woman's pelvis, of if its oxygen supply is cut off.
C-sections are usually performed with an epidural
Most C-sections, including emergency ones, are performed with an epidural. An epidural numbs you from your chest to your thighs. You remain conscious during the operation and can take the baby in your arms as soon as it is born.
If a sudden decision is made to perform an emergency C-section, the mother is given general anaesthetic so is asleep when the child is born. In this case, the baby will spend its first few hours with your labour partner.