Cesarean Section Law and Legal Definition

Cesarean section, or C-section delivery of a baby performed when a vaginal birth is not possible or is not safe for the mother or child.

Surgery is usually done while the woman is awake but anesthetized from the chest to the legs by epidural or spinal anesthesia. An incision is made across the abdomen just above the pubic area. The uterus is opened, the amniotic fluid is drained, and the baby is delivered. Due to a variety of medical and social factors, C-sections have become fairly common -- about 26% of all births in the United States in 2002 were C-sections.