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Understanding and Preparing for C-Section Births In the UK

The Reality of C-Sections in the UK

Recent statistics reveal that 31% of births in the UK last year were by Caesarean section (C-section). This is a significant number and sums up the importance of educating yourself on this mode of delivery. One part of evidence i found uncomfortable is that mothers who undergo an unplanned C-section are 15% more likely to suffer from postnatal depression. Many women also report feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment, and failure following a C-section which is so upsetting and this is the reason why i offer the positive csesction course. It gives you confidence when planning/prepping for a csection and in the times where the birth journey changes and things dont go how you planned you feel feel confident and in control of the situation.

What is a C-section?

A C-section is a surgical procedure to deliver a baby through a 15-20cm incision in the abdomen and uterus. It can be planned (elective) or unplanned (emergency).

There are many Reasons C-sections are suggested such as:

  • Fetal distress

  • Prolonged labor

  • Breech or malpositioned baby

  • Maternal request

  • Multiple births

  • Placenta previa

  • Preeclampsia

  • Maternal health issues

  • Cord prolapse

  • Infections

Categories of C-Sections

  1. Category 1: Immediate threat to the life of the mother or baby (8% of births). Typically performed within 30 minutes.

  2. Category 2: Maternal or fetal compromise, not immediately life-threatening. Usually done within 75 minutes.

  3. Category 3: No immediate threat but needs early delivery, such as a planned C-section that becomes urgent.

  4. Category 4: Elective planned to suit the mother or healthcare provider's schedule.

Benefits and Risks


  • Shortened or avoided labor

  • Logistical convenience (e.g., childcare)

  • Sense of control over the birth

  • Lower risk of urinary incontinence


  • Baby can be cut during the procedure

  • Infection

  • Hemorrhage

  • Increased risk of recurrent C-sections

  • Rare risks: death, bladder injury, intensive care admission, emergency hysterectomy

Gentle Family Centered C-Sections is what i love to train my clients in. I have close contact to midwives at the local NNUH Norfolk Norwich university hospital and they have agreed that elements of the gentle csection can be applied in their theatres and they are very open to discussing this plan with their patients.

A gentle C-section can improve the birth experience by incorporating elements that mimic vaginal birth:

  • Calm environment with music and low lighting

  • Slow emergence of the baby

  • Hands-off approach during birth

  • Delayed cord clamping

  • Immediate skin-to-skin contact

Boosting Oxytocin During a C-Section

Enhancing oxytocin release is so important as it aids in bonding, breastfeeding, and calming the nervous system:

  • Create a music playlist

  • Use breathing techniques and aromatherapy

  • Incorporate physical touch and hugging

  • Request dimmed lighting

  • Listen to hypnobirthing MP3s

  • Opt for slow emergence and immediate skin-to-skin contact

  • Consider vaginal seeding and delaying newborn procedures

In conclusion, while a C-section may differ from the traditional birth plan, it can be a profoundly positive and empowering experience when approached with the right mindset, preparation, and support. Embrace the journey, knowing that you are making the best choice for you and your baby, and take pride in the strength and resilience you bring to this important moment.

You have got this mama!

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