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Caesarean Sections

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the reasons for elective births by Caesarean-section in the last 12 months. (195624)

In 2004, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published a guideline on caesarean section (CS) in which it addressed planned (elective) caesarean sections. It found a number of reasons why a planned CS may take place. Some of them include breech presentations, multiple pregnancies and conditions such as placenta praevia. In addition, a CS may have also been undertaken at the request of the women.

The NICE guidelines recommend that the doctor or midwife should discuss the benefits and risks of a CS compared with a normal birth. If a CS has been requested by the women a note will be taken, although a CS will not be automatically agreed. If it has been requested because of a fear of giving birth, an opportunity to discuss the fears with a counsellor should be offered.

Ultimately, it is clinical decision that a CS would be of benefit to the mother and/or baby.