07 April 2011

The Caesarean Delivery

When you saw the heading, did you think I am talking about the birth of Julius Caesar? I think some of you might have doubted for a while, "Is this the spelling of the caesarean delivery we often hear?" Yes, it is.
I thought I might write about this because once I saw a friend of mine writing 'scissorian birth'. He wrote so because, he found out the logic that 'birth carried out by the aid of scissors is scissorian birth'. I don't think he is an exception in this misconception.
Technically, Caesarean birth is a surgical procedure in which one or more incisions are made on the  abdomen of a mother to take the baby out, in the case where natural delivery is harmful to the mother(or to the baby).
There are rumors that this procedure got this name because birth of the Roman dictator happened by this method and so the method got this name. But it is false. It is said that this method got its name from 'Lex Caesarea' which are the ancient Roman laws around 700 BC, which required that child of a mother dead in child birth be cut from her womb (Ref: Caesarean section?: Etymology and early history South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, August, 2009 by Pieter W.J. van Dongen).This seems to have begun as a religious requirement that mothers not be buried pregnant. It means Caesarean sections were performed even in the times of ancient Romans, although none among them are reported to survive. The earliest recorded survival is around 1500AD.

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