Caesarean Method

A caesarean section is a surgical procedure to deliver a baby through a cut in the mother’s abdomen (tummy) and uterus (womb). There are several medical reasons why you might plan for a caesarean, or your medical team might decide it’s safest for you to have an emergency caesarean after labour begins.

Why might I need a caesarean?

The most common reasons for needing a caesarean are:

  1. your baby is in the breech position (bottom first) and your doctor doesn’t recommend a vaginal breech birth
  2. your baby is transverse (lying sideways) and can’t be turned by the doctor
  3. you have twins and the first one is in the breech position
  4. your placenta is partly or completely covering the cervix (opening to the womb)
  5. you have had a previous caesarean.

Around 1 in 3 babies in Australia are born by caesarean. This is higher than the rate in many other developed countries. This rate is also increasing, both in private and in public hospitals, although you are more likely to have a caesarean in the private sector.

A caesarean might be planned if you develop pregnancy complications. But sometimes the need for a caesarean does not become clear until labour is underway. In an emergency, the baby may need to be delivered very quickly.