Cesarean delivery — also known as a C-section — is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen and a second incision in the mother's uterus.

A C-section might be planned ahead of time if you develop pregnancy complications or you've had a previous C-section and aren't considering vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Often, however, the need for a first-time C-section doesn't become obvious until labor is under way.

If you're pregnant, knowing what to expect during a C-section — both during the procedure and afterward — can help you prepare.

Jun. 12, 2012