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Overview of caesarean birth

A caesarean section is an operation to deliver your baby through a cut made in your abdomen (tummy) and womb. It's also known as a 'C-section'.

The cut is usually made across your tummy, just below your bikini line. The operation generally lasts around 45 minutes. It can take longer or be quicker.

Some caesarean births are planned. Others are emergency caesarean births, when complications happen during labour.

A spinal anaesthetic or epidural is used in most caesarean births. This means you're awake during the operation and you don't feel any pain.

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page last reviewed: 17/09/2018
next review due: 17/09/2021