Why Cesarean Section Is Called So?



Cesarean section or c-section as it is popularly called by the masses is considered to be a surgical procedure. It is conducted to have the baby delivered through an incision that is made in the uterus and womb of the pregnant woman during her final stage of pregnancy, when she is ready to deliver the baby.

How Did Caesarean Sections Get Their Name?

This is an interesting question that many mothers and even fathers are eager to know. There are several body parts like Eustachian & Fallopian tubes that have been named against some famous people. These have been named against those anatomists namely, Bartolomeo Eustachi and Gabriele Fallopio, respectively. Several procedure types have been named for those people who had actually created them. Some of these are the Heimlich maneuver that has been named after Henry Heimlich. However, both the cases cannot be stated as cesarean section.

Clearing some common misconceptions

One popular misconception among the majority of the people across the globe about the c-section getting its name is from the famous Roman ruler named Julius Caesar. The reason is because, there are many who are of the opinion that Caesar had been born in such manner. Even though a good fit, it is actually not true, but just vague rumor. According to Pliny the Elder, the Roman Historian, there is probably a link between Julius Caesar. It states that during the ninth pregnancy month,  his mother, Aurelia had died. Her womb was cut to bring out the baby. But some historians state that Caesar’s mother was very much alive even when he went into his adulthood.

Why is it called a cesarean?

Before the birth of Julius Caesar, there was passed a law in Rome that stated women who died during childbirth, were to be cut open to remove the baby from her body. This way, the mother and the child could be given separate decent burial as well as the final resort to save the life of the baby. Probably some Caesar’s ancestor had been born in this particular manner and hence, this family name got associated with such type of early birth. The historian also has not specifically named Julius to be related to this type of birth, probably it was some other relative of his, who was born in this manner.

The truth is that Caesar as well as his family might not have anything to do with the name of C-section name. In Latin, caedare stands for ‘to cut’, while caesus is the past participle. Hence, the  name of the procedure, which is to cut into uterus as cesarean or caesarean section.

These days, most of the mothers have been giving births to c-section babies, due to the easy availability of antibiotics and anesthesia. But there are Hindu, Chinese, Roman, Grecian and even European folklore that state this procedure was conducted on pregnant women who were alive even after the birth of the baby.

Whatever be it, this procedure does have plenty of significance even today.

Article last time updated on 20.02.2017.

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