Any pregnant woman can now ‘demand’ a caesarean section regardless of medical need, much of the media has reported. Many of the reports focused on mothers who fear birth trauma now having the right to request a caesarean.
The reports are based on new full guidance on caesarean sections from the National Institute for Health Clinical Excellence (NICE) (PDF, 228kb). NICE says this guidance may actually reduce the proportion of caesareans because new guidelines insist women should be given better advice about their options at childbirth. Currently around one in four UK babies is delivered by caesarean.