Indications for cesarean section on maternal request--guidelines for counseling and treatment

Sex Reprod Healthc. 2012 Oct;3(3):99-106. doi: 10.1016/j.srhc.2012.06.003. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


Aim: The aim was to find scientific evidence and, based on this, to develop national medical guidelines in Sweden for cesarean section on mother's request.

Background: More than 17% of all births in Sweden in 2008 were cesarean sections, compared to 5% at the beginning of the 1970s. About 8% of the cesarean sections were performed at mother's request. The predominant reason for this preference is fear of childbirth. When deciding whether to perform an elective cesarean section, the obstetrician must emphasize the long- and short-term health consequences for the mother and her baby, as well as weigh the risks associated with the procedure itself against not performing the procedure. Clarification is needed to determine for which conditions it is appropriate to comply with the mother's request.

Materials and method: A literature review was conducted to identify factors that were relevant as an argument to meet the request for cesarean section on maternal request. The authors analyzed these factors individually to determine.

Findings: The guidelines suggest that it is appropriate to comply with a woman's request for cesarean section if the reason for her request is deemed sufficiently serious and if, after participating in a counseling program, the woman persists in her request for cesarean section.

Conclusion: A request for cesarean section where no medical indication is present should not be met without considerations concerning the safety of the mother and her baby, while also weighing the risk of adverse outcomes for mother and baby.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section*
  • Counseling*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Pregnancy
  • Sweden