Maternal Resources

Cesarean Delivery

Cesarean Delivery Q&A

How is a Cesarean Delivery performed?

A cesarean delivery involves delivering a baby through surgical incisions made in a mother’s abdomen and uterus. If we determine that it would be best for you to deliver by cesarean after you start out in a labor and delivery room, we’ll move you into an operating room. The entire procedure normally takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Before we make the incisions, your abdomen will be cleaned and prepared, and you’ll receive an IV for fluids, medications, and a catheter to drain the urine from your bladder. We will make the first incision, which is typically about six inches long, through the skin, fat, and muscle of your abdomen. Then, we’ll make a second incision to open your uterus.

A cesarean delivery doesn’t take much time. In fact, cleaning your abdomen ahead of the surgery, and repairing your uterus and abdomen afterward, take more time than the cesarean delivery itself.

Why might I need a Cesarean Delivery?

We are committed to promoting successful vaginal births and avoiding unnecessary cesarean deliveries whenever possible. Still, a cesarean delivery may ultimately be the best choice for a variety of possible medical reasons, including:

  • Failure of labor to progress
  • Abnormal fetal heart rate
  • Detection of umbilical cord problems
  • Breech presentation
  • Problems with the placenta
  • Maternal infections, such as herpes
  • Maternal conditions, such as high blood pressure

Your chances of delivering via cesarean also increase if you’re carrying more than one baby. Women who are having twins are more likely to deliver by cesarean, while those carrying triplets have an even greater chance of having a cesarean delivery.

Most cesarean deliveries aren’t planned. Instead, they’re carried out to help ensure a safe, successful delivery for mother and baby when a significant problem develops during normal labor and delivery.

Can I deliver vaginally after having a Cesarean Delivery?

Not long ago, women who had delivered their first child via cesarean delivery were far more likely to deliver subsequent babies surgically as well. Today, vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC) is a reasonable and safe option for most women who have had a cesarean birth, including many of those who have undergone more than one cesarean delivery.

The type of incision you had in your first cesarean delivery is a key factor in determining whether you can go through labor and vaginal delivery without rupturing the scar on your uterus. When it comes to VBAC success, Dr. Abdelhak is a leader in obstetrics medicine. Every year, he’s able to help more than 80% of his patients with prior cesarean deliveries give birth vaginally.