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Do You Need a C-Section?

Almost one-third of women will have a Cesarean birth. Here's what you should know

by: Nancy Ripton

In This Article


bout 30 percent of pregnant women end up having a Cesarean or C-section delivery, (when your baby is delivered through a surgical incision in your abdomen and uterus). From why you might need one to how long it takes to recover, here's everything you need to know about C-sections:

Why you might need a C-section

"Every woman should prepare herself for a C-section before she goes into labor," says Dr. William Camann, associate professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. Many C-sections are planned in advance for reasons such as breech birth, placenta previa (placenta blocks the cervix opening) and placenta abruption (the placenta starts to give way from the uterine wall), but the majority of Cesareans are non-elective. Regardless of your birthing plan, you should be prepared for the possibility of a Cesarean birth.

C-section Risks >>