Caesareans are divided into two categories: emergencies — unplanned and performed during labour because of complications — and elective, which are scheduled and take place before labour begins.
• placenta is functioning poorly.
• the baby is in an abnormal or breech position.
• the mother has diabetes or an active genital herpes infection, or has had problems with a previous birth.
• there's a known cephalopelvic disproportion (the baby's head is too big for the mother's pelvis).
• the mother or baby is distressed.
• the labour becomes obstructed.
• the umbilical cord prolapses (it slips down first, possibly cutting the baby's circulation).
• there's excessive bleeding.