A Caesarean section (often C-section, also other spellings) is a surgical procedure in which one or more incisions are made through a mother’s abdomen (laparotomy) and uterus (hysterotomy) to deliver one or more babies. The first modern Caesarean section was performed by German gynecologist Ferdinand Adolf Kehrer in 1881. A Caesarean section is often performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby’s or mother’s life or health at risk. Some are also performed upon request without a medical reason to do so, which is a practice health authorities would like to reduce. C-sections result in a small overall increase in bad outcomes in low risk pregnancies. The bad outcomes that occur with C-section differ from those that occur with vaginal delivery. Established guidelines recommend that caesarean sections not be used before 39 weeks without a medical indication to perform the surgery. In many countries, caesarean section procedures are used more frequently than is necessary, and consequently governments and health organizations promote programs to reduce the use of caesarean section in favor of using vaginal delivery. The countries which report overuse of this procedure are not finding ways to decrease use of the procedure as much as they would like.
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