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NHS caesareans by choice a step close

Plans to offer elective caesareans to all women in the UK being drawn up by NICE

Posted: 31 October 2011
by Kimberley Smith
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Currently around a quarter of babies are born bet caesarean

All women in the UK will soon be able to request to give birth by caesarean, regardless of their medical history. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) is preparing to issue new guidelines on the subject.

The guidelines are expected in a report next month, and will advise the NHS to allow healthy women to choose to give birth by caesarean if they wish. They also state that the rules need to change because caesareans are now safer.

“It’s a huge development,” said Dr Bryan Beatie, a consultant obstetrician.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) added that before choosing an elective caesarean, women will be taken closely through all their options and given counseling to reduce fears of a natural birth.

“We are confident that when women are fully aware of the evidence they will not be asking for inappropriate caesarean sections,” said RCM general secretary Cathy Warwick. “We agree with the Nice suggestion that if, after proper counseling, natural birth is still not acceptable, then caesarean section should be possible.”

She added, “Women who fit into this category are usually those who have had a very difficult birth,” she added.

Would you opt for a caesarean given the chance?

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