In a caesarean section, the baby is delivered through an incision in the mother’s abdomen. The operation is carried out when circumstances make it safer than a vaginal birth for the mother and baby. The delivery is usually carried out using an epidural anaesthetic injected into the lower back, which numbs the body below the waist (see Epidural anaesthesia in labour). An incision is made in the lower abdomen and the baby and placenta are delivered within minutes. The mother stays in hospital for about 4 days afterwards.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.