Planned Caesarean Deliveries

Posted By admin - 8th October 2019

It has been reported by the BBC that for women who have previously had Caesarean deliveries, opting for a planned Caesarean delivery for future pregnancies may be the safest birthing method.

A recent investigation by the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme suggests that despite experts saying that where possible mothers should be offered the choice of a vaginal or Caesarean delivery, this is not the reality for most women, who are often denied a Caesarean delivery.

According to new research published by PLoS Medicine, there is an increased risk of mothers, who have previously had a Caesarean delivery, suffering serious birth-related complications when attempting a vaginal birth in comparison to having a repeat elective Caesarean delivery.

The research conducted in Scotland found that for women who have previously had a Caesarean delivery:

  • 45,579 women gave birth by planned Caesarean and 28,464 attempted a vaginal birth
  • 4% of women attempting a vaginal birth subsequently had an emergency Caesarean
  • 8% of women attempting a vaginal birth experienced serious maternal complications in comparison with 0.8% of women who had a planned Caesarean
  • 8% of pregnancies with attempted vaginal deliveries suffered complications for the baby in comparison with 6.4% of pregnancies delivered by planned Caesarean section

In summary, therefore, there is a small but increased risk of complications for mother and baby compared to Caesarean deliveries.

Dr Pat O’Brien, Consultant Obstetrician and spokesperson for The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said ‘the new research provided useful data to inform women and clinicians when discussing and making decisions around birthing plans. However, women can be assured that in most cases it is possible and safe to have a vaginal birth, or a planned repeat Caesarean birth, after a previous Caesarean birth”

He further added that ‘a detailed conversation with a woman and her senior obstetrician should take place so she can make an informed choice about the safest way she can plan to give birth and be supported by a team of specialists.’


Moosa-Duke Solicitors specialises in clinical negligence law and, particularly, in cases involving the failure to diagnose cauda equina syndrome. If you believe that you or a family member have received inadequate care from a GP or hospital Trust, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456 to discuss your concerns.