The changing motives of cesarean section: from the ancient world to the twenty-first century

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2005 Apr;271(4):281-5. doi: 10.1007/s00404-005-0724-4. Epub 2005 Mar 15.


Background: Cesarean delivery has been practiced for ages, although originally as a universally postmortem procedure. It is referred to in the myths and folklore of many ancient societies, for some of the infants delivered in this way survived, even though their mothers did not. Since the Renaissance, the objective of the procedure has gradually shifted towards saving the lives of both the mother and the child, and this has become ever more possible, as maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity decreased dramatically during the twentieth century.

Current issues: Today (at the beginning of twenty-first century), we are not only concerned with the safety and health of the mother and the child, but also with mother's desires and preferences and the child's rights.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / history*
  • Cesarean Section / mortality
  • Cesarean Section / psychology
  • Female
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Motivation*
  • Mythology
  • Pregnancy