Turkish obstetricians' self-birth preferences, attitudes and practices towards caesarean section on maternal request and vaginal birth after caesarean section: a national online survey

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2022 Aug;42(6):2033-2038. doi: 10.1080/01443615.2022.2080531. Epub 2022 Jun 6.


The aim of the study was to investigate the reasons for Turkish obstetricians having self-caesarean section on maternal request (CSMR) and their attitudes and practices related to CSMR and vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC). The questionnaire form constructed by the authors was sent online to obstetricians working in different cities of Turkey. A total of 206 obstetricians participated and answered a self-administered questionnaire. The self-birth preferences were as follows: 17% had a vaginal delivery (VD), 61.2% had a caesarean section (CS), 4.9% had both VD and CS. Of the participants with CS, 56.3% had CSMR. The most common reason for their having self-CSMR was that it was 'safe for the baby'. The most common reason for performing CSMR with their patients was 'due to birth anxiety and phobia'. Fifty-five percent of the participants said that they first recommended VD. The most common concern related to VBAC was 'I'm afraid of legal sanctions about complications'. Although many Turkish obstetricians recommend VD to their patients, they are afraid of the complaints/trials related to unforeseen complications during VD. IMPACT STATEMENTWhat is already known on this subject? Caesarean section (CS) rates all over the world and in Turkey are rising. The exact frequency of CS on maternal request (CSMR) is not known, but it is estimated to be between 4% and 18%.What do the results of this study add? Although Turkish obstetricians had high self-CSMR rates, they thought that it was more correct to direct patients to vaginal delivery (VD). Obstetricians are afraid of unforeseen complications during VD and related complaints and legal trials.What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? Physicians expect improvements in the judgement and punishment issues related to unforeseen complications in the birth process. Besides the actual rates of CSMR need to be reported in the literature and why obstetricians perform CSMR needs to be investigated globally.

Keywords: Caesarean section; Turkey; attitude; vaginal birth after a caesarean.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Physicians*
  • Pregnancy
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Vaginal Birth after Cesarean* / adverse effects