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Planned Caesarean Birth (Consent Advice No. 14)

Published: 4 August 2022

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 and people who are pregnant with a number of conditions diagnosed before or during pregnancy, or on request for those with no specific medical indication.

This Consent Advice was developed by a specialist Consent Task and Finish Group and is accompanied by the RCOG's Considering a caesarean birth patient information leaflet. These documents were peer reviewed by a range of stakeholders, including members of the RCOG Women’s Network and Women’s Voices Involvement Panel, and when used in conjunction aim to support meaningful discussions tailored to the individual’s needs as part of an informed decision-making and consent process.

Version history

This is the first edition of this paper.

Please note the Patient Safety Committee regularly assesses the need to update. Further information on this review is available on request.

Developer declaration of interests

Available on request.