This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of pregnant women who may require a caesarean section (CS).
Treatment and care should take into account women's needs and preferences. Pregnant women should be offered evidence-based information and support to enable them to make informed decisions about their care and treatment. If women do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent and the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act. In Wales, healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Assembly Government.
If the woman is under 16, healthcare professionals should follow the guidelines in seeking consent: working with children.
Good communication between healthcare professionals and pregnant women is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based written information tailored to the woman's needs. Treatment and care, and the information women are given about it, should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to women with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to women who do not speak or read English.
If the woman agrees, families and carers should have the opportunity to be involved in discussions and decisions about treatment and care.
Families and carers should also be given the information and support they need.