Friday, January 13, 2012

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The NICE c-section handout for pregnant women

Are you thinking about choosing a c-section? Are you worried that you will not be taken seriously when you attend your antenatal meetings? Have you already tried to discuss a cesarean birth plan and been refused point blank? Are you unsure of your rights as a patient in the NHS?

If so, please read the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) NHS patient leaflet: Understanding NICE guidance


For example, on page 6 of the patient leaflet it reads:

If you request a caesarean section

*Your doctor or midwife should explore and discuss your reasons with you and make a note of this discussion.

*If your request is not for medical reasons, your doctor or midwife should explain the overall risks and benefits of caesarean section compared with vaginal birth. You should also be able to talk to other members of your healthcare team, such as the obstetrician or anaesthetist, to make sure you have accurate information.

*If you ask for a caesarean section because you have anxiety about giving birth, your midwife or doctor should offer you the chance to discuss your anxiety with a healthcare professional who can offer you support during your pregnancy and labour.

*If after discussion and support you still feel that you do not want a vaginal birth, you should be offered a caesarean section.

*If your obstetrician is unwilling to carry out a caesarean section, they should refer you to another obstetrician who will carry out the caesarean section.


The new guidance from NICE is a result of a lengthy evidence-based review, so if your hospital is refusing to follow the guidance, this is a concern.

Please contact me if this is your experience.

Thank you.

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