Successful Caesarean section performed by indigenous healers in Kahura, Uganda. As observed by R. W. Felkin in 1879.Although most believe that Caesar himself was born by C-section, that is not the case. The Ancient Roman C-section was first performed to remove a baby from a mother who had died in childbirth. Caesar's mother, Aurelia, lived through childbirth and successfully gave birth to her son, therefore ruling out the possibility that the dictator was a C-section baby. In 1316 the future Robert II of Scotland was delivered by caesarean section - his mother, Marjorie Bruce, died.
The first recorded incidence of a woman surviving a caesarean section was in Siegershausen, Switzerland in 1500: Jacob Nufer, a pig gelder, is supposed to have performed the operation on his wife after a prolonged labor. For most of the time, the procedure had a high mortality. In Great Britain and Ireland the mortality in 1865 was 85%. Key steps in reducing mortality were:
Adherence to principles of asepsis .
The introduction of uterine suturing by Max S?nger in 1882.
Extraperitoneal CS and then moving to low transverse incision ( Kr?nig, 1912).
European travelers in the Great Lakes region of Africa during the 19th century observed caeserean sections being performed on a regular basis. The expectant mother was normally anesthetized with alcohol and herbal mixtures were used to encourage healing. From the well-developed nature of the procedures employed, European observers concluded that they had been employed for some time.
On March 5, 2000, Ines Ramirez performed a caesarean section on herself and survived, as did her son, Orlando Ruiz Ramirez. She is believed to be the only woman to have performed a successful caesarean section on herself.
Caesareans in fiction
The first caesarean section according to mythology was performed by Apollo on his lover Coronis when he delivered Asklepios.
In Persian mythology, Rudaba's labor of Rustam was prolonged due to the extraordinary size of her baby. Zal, her lover and husband, was certain that his wife would die in labour. Rudabah was near death when Zal decided to summon the Simurgh. The Simurgh appeared and instructed him upon how to perform a cesarean section thus saving Rudabah and the child, who later on became one of the greatest Persian heroes.
A Caesarean section appears in Shakespeare's play Macbeth. Macbeth faces a prophesied enemy not of woman born, an impossibility but that MacDuff was "from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd," the product of a caesarean section birth (not unlike Robert II of Scotland).
The stillborn child of character Catherine Barkley is delivered by caesarean section in the Hemingway novel A Farewell to Arms.