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Cesarean delivery can be a life-saving intervention for both mother and baby if complications arise during childbirth. There are a lot of reasons why doctors might decide a cesarean or c-section is better for a pregnant woman than vaginal delivery. That said, the rate of cesarean sections has increased dramatically without evidence of medical necessity. This has raised concerns that the procedure is used unnecessarily. Knowing the short and long-term effects of a cesarean section is key to preventing the overuse of this potentially life-saving procedure.

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1. What Is a C-Section?

A cesarean section is a surgical option for delivering a baby

. The surgeon makes an incision through the uterus and manually removes the baby. Sometimes, c-sections are planned, but complications during labor for a vaginal birth can also prompt doctors to perform emergency cesarean sections. About one in three women delivers via c-section, but the procedure is a major surgery and does involve many risks.

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