Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 271, Issue 4, pp 281-285

First online:

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

  • Samuel LurieAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Edith Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University Email author 

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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.