Woodcut, 1506. A cesarean section has been performed on a dead woman; to the left stand three men, to the right stand three women; a surgeon stands next to the body holding a razor, and a midwife extracts the baby. The Roman Lex Regia of Numa Pompilius (715-673 BC), required that the child of a mother dead in childbirth be cut from her womb, a religious requirement that mothers not be buried pregnant, that evolved into a way of saving the fetus when it was realized the woman could not survive the delivery. Speculation that Julius Caesar was born by the method is false. A Caesarean section is a surgical procedure in which one or more incisions are made through a mother's abdomen and uterus to deliver one or more babies. A Caesarean section is usually performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby's or mother's life or health at risk.
March 7th, 2013
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