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Guidelines show need for informed choice on caesarean sections<br />

Wednesday, 23rd November 2011

Commenting on the publication today of  updated NICE guidelines on caesarean section, Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "The RCM is pleased to see the recommendation that women who have anxiety about birth 'be referred to a health professional with expertise in providing perinatal mental health support'. We know that when such individualised support is offered, for example in consultant midwives' clinics, these anxieties can be allayed for many women, and they can go on to have a normal vaginal birth.

"Midwives need to be able to give time to women to really discuss what they want, and then be able to fully support and advise women towards this. One-to-one care in labour from a midwife a woman ideally knows and certainly trusts is particularly important. The RCM believes that if midwives are able to help women to understand what their choices mean for them and their baby and feel they will be supported in labour then very few women will want an elective CS. They will be making decisions from a fully informed position and from a position of trust in maternity services, not one based simply on hearsay.”

Further information about the recommendations on Caesarean Section are available on the NICE website: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG132.

For more information contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456, pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Midwives is the voice of midwifery. We are the UK’s only trade union and professional organisation led by midwives for midwives. The vast majority of the midwifery profession are our members. The RCM promotes midwifery, quality maternity services and professional standards. We support and represent our members individually and collectively in all four UK countries.  We influence on behalf of our members and for the interests of the women and families for which they care.  For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.