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Can You Choose to Have a C Section with No Medical Reason?

Childbirth can be a pretty scary experience whichever way you give birth. But what if you want a c section with no medical grounds? We look at the right to choose a C section in the UK.

Childbirth. It’s a pretty scary thing for most of us who go through it, whatever kind of birth you have. For some, everything goes to plan and the experience is positive. For others, interventions such as a ventouse, forceps or even an emergency c section become necessary. For other new Mums to be, they may find out about complications in pregnancy that mean they won’t be able to have the type of birth they’d hoped for.

In other words, childbirth is an incredibly unpredictable thing.

Around 31% of births in the UK are by c section and almost half of these are elective c section. 

Now, an elective c section doesn’t necessarily mean someone “chose,” it. Instead it means that c section was the planned birth method in advance, possibly because of complications in pregnancy or other reasons.

So what about Mothers to be who want a c section because that is their preferred way to give birth and not because of any physical medical issue with Mother or baby?

Can you choose to have a C section?

According to a recent survey by, 15% of women would choose a c section as their preferred method of giving birth.

Now, in this country that is possible. It’s referred to as a “maternal request caesarean birth.” 

The process is relatively straightforward. The new mother to be should speak to their doctor or midwife and explain that they would like to have a c section birth. Explain your reasons for this (birth anxiety, personal preference etc). 

Your medical professionals should listen to you and take you seriously.

NICE guidelines on this matter suggest that hospitals should take you seriously in your request providing they are comfortable that you are making an informed decision. So they’ll explain to you clearly the risks associated with c sections compared with vaginal births and present all the facts.

If, once they are confident you understand the risks and the potential alternative methods or places of birth, you still wish to go ahead with a c section, you should be offered this. If your Doctor, for any reason, is not prepared to carry out the procedure, they should refer you to a medical professional who will.


Choices are important during childbirth. So speak to your midwife about your preferences during your appointments.