Majority of women choose natural birth

Caesareans are done for mostly medical reasons

Women are not too posh to push – new research has found the vast majority would choose natural delivery and Caesareans are done for mainly medical reasons.
 
Only 3% of women said they would opt for a caesarean delivery without a medical need for one, in the first study of its kind to be carried out in the UK.

When questioned nearer the birth the proportion had dropped to just 2%, according to research carried out on 454 women giving birth at the Liverpool Women’s Foundation Trust.
 
There has been intense debate about women who have caesarean section deliveries as the UK has one of the highest rates in the developed world with one in four babies delivered surgically. However 60% of these are carried out as emergencies and the vast majority of the rest of them are planned for a medical reason.

Lead author, Dr Carol Kingdon, from the School of Public Health and Clinical Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, said: ‘Our study found that whilst many women supported the principle of choice, in practice their choices were limited by the circumstances of the pregnancy (e.g. baby in breech position) and available care provision. All women felt that medical concerns should take precedence over personal preferences and recognised how any choice expressed can change as pregnancy progresses.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘We have been working towards increasing normality of childbirth wherever possible. Our strategy, Maternity Matters, aims to normalise childbirth and sets out choice guarantees for place of birth.

‘Method of delivery is not part of the choice guarantee. In line with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines, we recommend that clinical interventions, including elective Caesarean section, are only performed if there is clinical evidence of expected benefits of these to the mother and/or baby, and that a consultant is involved in the decision to undertake any Caesarean.’

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