Birth after previous caesarean

More than 1 in 5 women (20%) in the UK currently give birth by caesarean delivery (a surgical operation where a cut is made in your abdomen and your baby is delivered through that cut). Many women have more than one caesarean delivery.

If you have had one or more caesarean deliveries, you may be thinking about how to give birth next time. Whether you choose to have a vaginal birth or a caesarean delivery in a future pregnancy, either choice is safe with different risks and benefits. Overall, both are safe choices with only very small risks.

In considering your choices, your obstetrician will ask you about your medical history and about your previous pregnancies. They will want to know about:

  • the reason you had the caesarean delivery and what happened – was it an emergency?
  • the type of cut that was made in your uterus (womb)
  • how you felt about your previous birth. Do you have any concerns?
  • whether your current pregnancy has been straightforward or have there been any problems or complications?

You and your obstetrician or midwife will consider your chance of a successful vaginal birth, your personal wishes and future fertility plans when making a decision about vaginal birth or caesarean delivery.


The leaflet can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking on the link below.