A new clinic has been launched at Northampton General Hospital to educate mums-to-be about the risks and benefits of caesarean sections.
The Birth After Caesarean clinic is in response to a higher number of women than the national average choosing to have a C-section at NGH.
It will be aimed particularly at mums who have previously had a caesarean, as they often assume they need to have the same procedure for any subsequent child.
Anne Richley, a senior midwife at NGH, said: “Often women go for a second caesarean, not because its what they want, but because they haven’t had enough discussions. They don’t realise they can choose a natural birth.
“Generally, women only really need a caesarean first time round for a medical problem, if she has the baby in the breech position or there’s slow progress in labour.”
The elective caesarean section rate at NGH is fairly static, but has been above the target of 10.1 per cent of all births for at least two years. In January this year, it was 14 per cent.
However, emergency C-sections at NGH are falling.
Under the new clinic, pregnant women will get referred to a dedicated midwife a session at between 16 and 20 weeks. Mrs Richley said: “We won’t be telling women what to do, it’s about allowing them to make an informed choice.”