Caesarean sections are the most common inpatient surgical procedures in North America. Caesarean sections may be medically indicated for reasons including complications during pregnancy or the labour process, and issues compromising fetal growth and wellbeing. Pregnant individuals living with obesity and those with diabetes during pregnancy are also more likely to be submitted for caesarean section. Further, some pregnant individuals without medical indications may request Caesearan deliveries for reasons including scheduling convenience, anxiety about labour pain and process, and fear surrounding possible pelvic floor damage and sexual dysfunction after vaginal delivery.
Thus, whereas unique populations and scenarios may require caesarean sections for the health and wellbeing of the birthing parent and the fetus/neonate, others receive the procedure in the absence of medical indications. This research program explores the optimal timing, mode and method of delivery across obstetrical sub-populations, and examines the risk factors and short and long-term maternal and offspring outcomes associated with caesarean sections compared to vaginal deliveries.