Skip to main content

Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Caesarean birth

A caesarean section is a major surgical operation in which your baby is born through a cut in your abdomen and uterus. It is usually performed under a spinal or epidural anaesthesia. In some cases it is necessary to use a general anaesthetic so that you are asleep throughout.

Some caesarean births are planned in advance (elective caesarean) because of existing problems with your pregnancy. In other cases, the decision to perform a caesarean is made during the course of labour. This is called an emergency caesarean.

An emergency caesarean is recommended for the following reasons

  • concern for your baby’s wellbeing
  • your labour is not progressing
  • there are maternal complications, such as severe bleeding or severe pre-eclampsia
  • there is a life-threatening emergency for you or your baby. 


Last Modified: Tuesday, 29 December 2020