A research paper from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York has advised that "the most concerning risks related to maternal request cesarean delivery are neonatal respiratory morbidity and those that may affect the mother's future reproductive health, including life-threatening conditions, such as placenta accreta", and advises that pregnant women should be counseled on these.
Risks for the mother are lower with PCD than with PVD
Authors YM Lee and ME D'Alton write: "The literature suggests that overall risks of maternal complications with cesarean delivery on maternal request are slightly lower than a trial of vaginal delivery and are primarily driven by the avoidance of unplanned or emergent cesarean deliveries and their associated increased rate of complications."
This is something I have been highlighting (along with many others) for many years. The risks associated with planned vaginal delivery include ALL potential outcomes of a trial of labor and should be recorded as such. Comparisons between PCD and spontaneous VD alone are ineffective and misleading.
Other issues to consider
The authors do acknowledge that cesarean delivery on maternal request is not a simple decision to make. For instance, "there are many areas on which studies are lacking", and in addition, "numerous factors can alter the risks and benefits - such as culture, maternal obesity, and provider background". This echoes the advice given by the NIH in 2006 that maternal request is only ethical following individualized consultation.