Patient Initiated Elective Caesarean Section

We are currently witnessing changes in our cultural and practical understanding of childbirth, resulting in higher rates of intervention and lower rates of vaginal deliveries. These changes are believed to have been precipitated by many sociocultural and biomedical factors, including the supervaluation of technology and the diminishing encouragement of self-efficacy offered to women in birth.

The goal of the funded research projects was to gather descriptive data concerning primiparious women’s reasons for undergoing a patient-initiated elective caesarean section that will contribute to an understanding of their preferences and decision-making processes regarding the nature of their childbirth experience.  The objective of the research was to investigate the range of attitudes towards elective caesarean section and explicate the circumstances and rationales guiding women who choose the procedure.  Specific objectives included the collection and analysis of data from primarious women who have had an elective caesarean section in the absence of medical indications concerning:

  1. Their knowledge of the benefits and risks involved with elective caesarean section
  2. Factors that influenced their perceptions of vaginal birth
  3. The sources of information that informed their choice.

The research findings have been published in four articles.

Modalities of Birth

  • Hutton, E., Kornelsen, J. Prevalence of patient initiated elective caesarean section of nulliparous women in British Columbia, Canada. Birth. In press.
  • Kornelsen, J., Hutton, E. Attributes and Experiences of Patient-Initiated Elective Cesarean Section: Results from a Qualitative Inquiry. Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice, 2012, 11(1), 9-19.