Cesarean Section (C-section)
Childbirth Connection

If you’re expecting a baby, you have probably thought about whether you’ll have a vaginal birth or a cesarean section (often called a C-section for short). Maybe you talked about it with your doctor or midwife. That’s great, since it’s important to get the facts and understand your options so you can make the best decision for yourself and your baby.

The C-section rate in the United States is high: about 1 in 3 women now gives birth by C-section. You may have heard mixed messages about risks and benefits of C-section vs. vaginal birth. There is a lot of confusion and disagreement about this issue. You’ve come to the right place for complete, accurate, unbiased information to help you make an informed decision!

As the person receiving care and mother of your baby, you are in the best position to decide what risks are tolerable for you. In the Rights of Childbearing Women, we talk more about your right to understand care options, best evidence about the pros and cons of vaginal birth and C-section, and the importance of making your own decision so you can keep yourself and your children safe and free of harm.

C-section Basics

Understand what C-section is, why women might get a C-section, the impact on mother and baby and why the C-section rate is so high in the United States.

Planning Ahead

Read more about things to consider in planning your birth and how to determine whether you will need a C-section.

Research and Evidence

Understand the research and evidence behind C-section compared with vaginal birth, including in-depth information on possible harms and benefits.

C-section Resources

Access resources and information from trusted partners about C-section, including supports for women recovering from C-section.