Maternal mortality and morbidity in cesarean section

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Dec;28(4):763-9. doi: 10.1097/00003081-198528040-00009.


The maternal mortality rate after cesarean section is currently very low, but cesarean section is more hazardous than vaginal delivery by a factor of 2-11. Maternal mortality rates of 0 in large series of cesareans have been achieved in some settings, and this suggests that careful attention to good surgical technique and postoperative care could lower mortality after cesarean even further. Infection is the most common cause of morbidity after cesarean, transfusion being second. A large number of factors modify the risk of infection, the most important being prophylactic antibiotics. There is weak evidence that women are slightly more depressed after cesarean than after vaginal delivery. On average, cesarean sections cost more than vaginal deliveries.

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / mortality
  • Maternal Mortality*
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Puerperal Infection / mortality
  • Risk
  • Surgical Wound Infection / mortality