In a recent study from University of Queensland the statistics on a caesarean section were shared,

“Of women who gave birth in Australian hospitals in 2009, around a third (32.6%) had a caesarean section delivery. The caesarean section rate of 42.5% for women in private hospitals was higher than for women in public hospitals (28.4%).”


Whilst there is no doubt on the degree of popularity in planning a c section with the managing obstetrician, in some cases they are unplanned because the labour process gets off course or there is an emergency situation where the mother and baby are at immediate risk.

Possible reasons for an unplanned caesarean section may include:

  • the baby’s head is deemed to be at risk if a natural birth could see the head becoming stuck as it passes through the pelvis during labour.
  • the baby’s health is beginning to deteriorate and the baby is showing signs of distress.
  • the contractions of labour are not progressing as normal and the cervix is not opening as it needs to.
  • the mother’s blood pressure is too high to be able to handle labour as she needs to.
  • the umbilical cord prolapses after the mother’s waters break and the baby’s source of nutrients and oxygenated blood is blocked.
  • the placenta prematurely can separate from the uterine wall, known as placental abruption, resulting in excessive bleeding and decreased oxygen supply for the baby.

Communication is the key, and your managing obstetrician should be working with you to keep trust and an open communication pathway where you feel you can speak freely. It is worthwhile to explore all of the options available to possibly get the labour back on track. Have that honest conversation with your doctor and work out what the best options are for you with your labour and delivery.