Elective caesarean delivery at maternal request: A preliminary study of motivations influencing women's decision-making


: Dr Stephen Robson, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The Canberra Hospital, PO Box 11, Woden, ACT 2606, Australia. Email: steve.robson@act.gov.au


Background:  There is an extensive literature concerning caesarean section at maternal request, where no obstetric indication exists, yet little information about what motivates women to request such a delivery.

Aims:  This paper aims to ask women who had undergone maternal-request primary elective caesarean delivery about the reasons for their choice, their level of satisfaction with the delivery and their future childbearing plans.

Methods:  Anonymous postal survey of women who have undergone maternal-request primary caesarean section in private maternity hospitals in the eastern states of Australia.

Results:  The response rate was 68%, and 78 completed surveys were included in the study. The most common reason given was, ‘I was concerned about risks to the baby’ (46%). On a scale from 1 (totally unsatisfied) to 10 (completely satisfied), the mean satisfaction rating reported was 9.25/10 (95% confidence interval: 8.89, 9.60). Only eight respondents (10%) stated an intention for more than two caesarean deliveries.

Conclusions:  Women who underwent maternal-request caesarean delivery most commonly did so from concerns for the baby. Respondents were highly satisfied with their delivery, and few wished for more than two children.