Caesarean sections, or c-sections, can either be planned or carried out as an emergency procedure when a delivery doesn't go as planned.
• Your baby is in a breech position.
• Your pelvis is too narrow.
• You have previously given birth by caesarean (60% of the women who have previously had caesareans have a caesarean again).
• You have a strong wish to deliver your baby by caesarean section.
An emergency caesarean section
An emergency caesarean section is carried out when something happens during the birth that makes it urgent to deliver the baby quickly. One reason could be that the baby’s head has not dropped properly into your pelvis. Another reason is if your baby’s health appears to be at risk.
Caesarean sections are performed under local anaesthesia
In most cases a caesarean section – even if it is an emergency caesarean – is carried out under local anaesthesia, in the form of an epidural. This anaesthetises you from your chest to your thighs, so you can remain completely conscious during the operation and have the chance to say hello to your baby right after they’re born.
If an emergency caesarean section needs to be carried out really fast, because the baby is experiencing a lot of stress, you’ll be given a general anaesthetic, meaning you’ll be asleep when your baby arrives. Your baby will spend their first hours together with your birthing partner instead.