Information for the public
Published November 2011, (last updated: March 2015)

Caesarean section

This is an extract from a NICE publication. The complete publication is available at http://publications.nice.org.uk/ifp132

About this information

NICE clinical guidelines advise the NHS on caring for people with specific conditions or diseases and the treatments they should receive. The information applies to people using the NHS in England and Wales.

This information is about the care and treatment of women who plan or need to have a caesarean section that is set out in NICE clinical guideline 132.

Medical terms are explained in the Glossary.

In September 2012, the information about place of birth was removed from Reducing your chances of needing a caesarean section and Things that do not affect your chances of needing a caesarean section. Place of birth will be addressed in the NICE guideline on intrapartum care (care during labour) that is currently being updated. All other information remains the same.

Does this information apply to me?

Yes, if you are planning to have, or need to have, a caesarean section.

It does not specifically look at:

  • the risks and benefits of caesarean section when it is used for specific medical conditions that arise during pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia

  • what will happen if you or your baby have a rare or complex condition such as a severe heart condition

  • what will happen if you or your baby have a rare or complex condition such as a severe heart condition

  • extra care you may need if you or your baby develop specific medical conditions in the course of your pregnancy or labour.