Women's antenatal preferences for delivery route in a setting with high cesarean section rates and a medically dominated maternity system

Authors

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 94, Issue 10, 1150, Article first published online: 15 September 2015

  • The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of this paper. The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Abstract

Objective

To assess birth preferences in a sample of Hungarian pregnant women and identify determinants of ambivalence or clear choices for cesarean section throughout pregnancy.

Design

Follow-up two-point questionnaire survey.

Setting

University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Hungary.

Sample

A total of 413 women with singleton pregnancies where there was no awareness of medical contradictions to vaginal delivery, attending for routine ultrasound examination in mid-pregnancy from November 2011 to March 2012.

Methods

Questionnaires completed in mid- and late pregnancy (gestational weeks 18–22 and 35–37) including the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire A.

Main outcome measures

Prevalence of women preferring cesarean section or being uncertain about what delivery route to choose, in case they had the choice; their demographic characteristics, attitudes toward birth issues and their Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire A scores, compared with women consistent in their preference for vaginal delivery.

Results

Of the 413 respondents, 365 (88.4%) were consistent in their preference for vaginal delivery. In logistic regression models the important contributors to describing preferences for cesarean section or uncertain preferences were previous cesarean section and maternal belief that cesarean section is more beneficial than vaginal delivery.

Conclusions

The majority of pregnant women preferred vaginal delivery to cesarean section. Neither a higher Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire A score nor sociodemographic differences were important determinants of a preference for cesarean section or for an uncertain preference. On the other hand, previous cesarean section and certain preconceived maternal attitudes towards delivery were characteristic for these women.

Ancillary