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Birth after previous caesarean

Published: 01/09/2008

More than 1 in 5 women (20%) in the UK currently give birth by caesarean delivery (a surgical operation where a cut is made in your abdomen and your baby is delivered through that cut). Many women have more than one caesarean delivery.

If you have had one or more caesarean deliveries, you may be thinking about how to give birth next time. Whether you choose to have a vaginal birth or a caesarean delivery in a future pregnancy, either choice is safe with different risks and benefits. Overall, both are safe choices with only very small risks.

This information leaflet provides more information about your choices for birth after a previous caesarean delivery, including the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

This patient information leaflet is based on the RCOG clinical guideline Birth After Previous Caesarean Birth, which contains a full list of the sources of evidence used to produce this guidance.

In line with the College process of reviewing all guidance every three years, this information is currently under review. The information in this version is still valid.

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