This guidance is for healthcare professionals to aid the provision of appropriate and balanced information about the potential benefits, risks and alternative modes of childbirth to those considering a planned (elective) caesarean birth.
Planned caesarean birth is an alternative to planned vaginal birth for women with a number of conditions diagnosed before or during pregnancy, or on request for women with no specific medical indication.
Women planning a vaginal birth should also be informed that in the UK, approximately 1 in 8 women planning a vaginal birth have an assisted vaginal birth (using ventouse or forceps) and aproximately 1 in 5 women have an emergency or unplanned caesarean birth.6 These figures are higher in primiparous women (between 1 in 2 and 1 in 3 for assisted vaginal birth and up to 1 in 3 for an emergency caesarean birth).
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Information for the public: Care of women and their babies during labour and birth (www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg190/ifp/chapter/Care-of-women-and-their-babies-during-labour- and-birth).
RCOG patient information leaflets2 on Considering a caesarean birth, Placenta praevia, placenta accreta and vasa praevia,and Breech baby at the end of pregnancy.
NHS website (www.nhs.uk/conditions/caesarean-section/).
Obstetric Anaesthetists’ Association information for mothers (www.labourpains.com).
Baby Centre Who will be with me during a caesarean birth? (Video) (www.babycentre.co.uk/v25008653/who-will-be-