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Choosing to have a caesarean section

Published: 17/07/2015

This information is for you if you are thinking about having your baby by a ‘planned’ or ‘elective’ caesarean section when there isn’t a ‘medical’ reason to do so.

Most women who have a planned caesarean section will recover well and have healthy babies. However, there are risks for both you and your baby and it may take longer to get back to normal after your baby is born. Having a caesarean section also makes future births more complicated.

The information outlines:

  • Who you should speak to if you are thinking about having a caesarean section
  • What a caesarean will mean for you and your baby
  • The effect it may have on future births
  • The benefits of having a vaginal birth
  • What happens if you go into labour before the planned date of an elective caesarean

This information will help you to make informed choices about having an elective caesarean section. It aims to help you and your healthcare team make the best decisions about your care.

This patient information leaflet is based on the 2011 NICE Clinical Guideline Caesarean Section and the RCOG 2009 Consent Advice No.7 Caesarean Section.

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