This guideline covers when to offer caesarean section, procedural aspects of the operation and care after caesarean section. It aims to improve the consistency and quality of care for women who are considering a caesarean section or have had a caesarean section in the past and are now pregnant again.
In April 2019 we withdrew a recommendation on wound closure methods and replaced it with a link to the updated NICE guideline on surgical site infections: prevention and treatment.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- when to offer planned caesarean section
- when a caesarean section may be required during birth
- procedural aspects of caesarean section
- care of the baby and mother after caesarean section
- recovery after caesarean section
- subsequent pregnancy and childbirth after caesarean section
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Commissioners and providers
- Public health and trust managers
- Pregnant women, their families, birth supporters and other carers
Is this guideline up to date?
Guideline development process
This clinical guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG13 (published April 2004).
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.