For some mothers who may experience issues with delivery, a cesarean delivery (C-section) is a safer alternative than vaginal delivery. A C-section requires incisions made to the mother’s abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby.

Determining If a C-Section is Right For You

Your healthcare provider will suggest performing a C-section if the following occurs:

  • Failure to progress. The cervix, through contractions, may not open enough for the baby to move into the vagina, or your pelvic anatomy may not be conducive to a vaginal delivery.
  • Multiple pregnancy. The likelihood of cesarean delivery increases with the number of babies, especially if they are born early or are not positioned correctly in the uterus.
  • Concern for the baby. Changes in the baby’s heartbeat can lead to cesarean delivery.
  • Maternal complications. A cesarean delivery may be suggested if you have a severe health problem, like a brain or heart condition.
  • Breech presentation. This is suggested if the baby is not head down.

A planned C-section is not recommended for first-time mothers, especially those who plan on having several children. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who have multiple C-sections have higher risk of placental problems and heavy bleeding, which can lead to a hysterectomy, or a removal of the uterus.

What to Expect During a C-Section

Procedures will vary depending on the reason for your c-section, but generally, you can expect these steps:

  • Incisions to the abdomen and uterus. Your doctor will make a horizontal incision to your abdominal wall, as well as a uterine incision along the lower part of the uterus. Your doctor may also make a vertical incision from below the navel to just above the pubic bone.
  • Delivery. Your baby will be delivered through the incision, and your doctor will clean your baby of fluids in the mouth and nose. Your doctor will then clamp and cut the umbilical cord and remove the placenta. The incisions will be closed with sutures.

After Your C-Section

You will likely be asked to remain in the hospital for a few days after your c-section so you can rest and recover. Your healthcare providers will monitor your recovery and provide relief options for any pain you might be experiencing, as well as monitor your incision site for any signs of infection.


Once you’re ready, you can begin breastfeeding. Inform your healthcare team of your desire to begin breastfeeding, and they will select the appropriate medications for you and your baby.

Going Home

As with any surgical procedure, it’s important to rest. Rest whenever possible and avoid heavy lifting of any kind. Avoid sex for six weeks after your c-section. Additionally, your doctor will instruct you on the appropriate pain relief solutions for your incision, including pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil and heating pads.

How Sylacauga OB-GYN Can Help You During Your C-Section

The healthcare providers at Sylacauga OB-GYN are capable of delivering the highest-quality care throughout the entirety of your c-section process. Since 2007, we’ve been a leader in obstetrics and gynecology in the Southeast. We’re confident we can provide the most compassionate, uncompromising care for you and your baby.

For more information about c-sections and if they’re right for you, give us a call or email us at [email protected].