Caesarean Section

Most healthy pregnant women can expect the natural process of labour to result in the vaginal birth of a healthy baby. Despite this fact caesarean section has become the most commonly performed surgical        procedure in the western world. Caesarean section rates continue to rise, while mounting evidence of the short and long term harms that having a caesarean poses for mothers and babies continues to emerge. When a caesarean section is really necessary it can be a life-saving operation for a mother and/or her baby. However, because so many of the caesarean sections performed these days are not necessary, the result has been a rapid rise in significant harms to both mothers and babies.

The Maternity Services Consumer Council has produced a A5 20 page resource booklet, with over 200 reference to provide you with evidence based information about caesarean sections. 

Information covered:

  • What is a caesarean section?
  • Making and informed choice
  • Absolute Indications for a caesarean section either elective or emergency
  • Debatable Indications for a caesarean section either elective or emergency
  • Short and Long term  risks of a caesarean to mothers
  • Short and Long term risks to baby
  • Long-term risks to baby
  • How to avoid unnecessary caesareans
  • Vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)
  • Minimising the risks - a gentle caesarean section

Before you give consent to a caesarean section your midwife or doctor should make sure you understand why the operation is being recommended. The following questions will help you make an informed choice:

  • Is this an emergency or do we have time to talk?
  • Why are you recommending this operation?
  • What are the risks to me or the baby if I choose not to have the operation?
  • What could happen if we waited an hour or two?
  • Is there anything else we could try at this stage?
  • Can we wait to go into spontaneous labour? (in the case of an elective caesarean section being suggested)

You have the right to privacy while you make your decision. It is okay to ask the person to leave while you discuss your options with your partner and/or whanau or in the case of an elective caesarean to ask for more written information to take away and consider before deciding what your  answer is. You also have the right to ask for a second opinion from another health professional.

The primary reason for the increasing rates of intervention certainly is a quasi-cultural and universal lack of understanding of the basic needs of women in labour.”(3)

How to order our resources:

For Individuals, please go to "Order our Resources", choose subject "Free for Individuals" a full set can be ordered costing just $3.50 for post and packaging.

For all others, via "Order our Resources" please compile your order, if you have any difficulties,  contact MSCC on and we will assist you.