Can I have a c-section if I don’t have a medical reason?
A c-section is major abdominal surgery, which carries some risks for you and your baby. Speak to your midwife about any worries you have about giving birth. They may be able to reassure you or refer you for more support. You can ask your midwife to refer you to another health professional, such as:
- an obstetrician ‒ a doctor who specialises in care during pregnancy, labour and after birth
- an anaesthetist ‒ a doctor who gives pain relief and anaesthetic for medical operations and procedures
- a consultant midwife
- a birth planning midwife
- a specialist mental health midwife.
Your midwife or doctor can tell you what a c-section involves and how it may affect you after the birth and in future pregnancies. Find out more about the benefits and risks of a c-section.
You can choose to have a c-section, after talking to your healthcare team about the benefits and risks. If you feel your obstetrician does not support your choice of birth, you can ask to see a different doctor.
Some hospitals cannot get funding for c-sections without a medical need. If this happens, you can ask to move to a hospital in a different area.
“‘I asked for a c-section because I had a difficult first birth followed by postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress. The team looking after me reassured me throughout my pregnancy but reminded me of my other birth options. They helped with my birth plan, which included different options, including a planned c section, trying a vaginal birth and what would happen if I went into labour early. Having this reassurance reduced my anxiety and helped me feel confident about what I wanted for the birth.”