A caesarean section is the name of the operation used to deliver a baby through a cut in your stomach and uterus (womb). In some cases this is a safer option than a vaginal delivery; it is done for a number of reasons and may be an emergency or elective (planned). The surgery is performed by an obstetrician and it usually only takes a few minutes for the baby to be born although the whole operation can take up to an hour. A general or epidural anaesthetic can be used. Most women will be up and about within 24 hours of the surgery.