Previous caesarean section

Caesarean section describes a method of birth in which the baby is removed directly from the uterus through an incision in the mother’s abdomen. This procedure is generally performed when vaginal delivery is likely to pose a risk to the health of the mother or baby, or in scenarios such as stalled labour or unsuccessful vaginal delivery.

The figure shows a bar chart for multiparous women who gave birth and had a previous caesarean section by range of topics for 2019. The figure also shows a line graph of trends in proportion of multiparous women by number of previous caesarean section and a range of topics over 2012 to 2019. In 2019, 52,687 women, or 32%, had previously given birth by caesarean section.

The majority of mothers who had a previous caesarean section had a repeat caesarean section (77%). Having had a previous caesarean section was the most common main reason for having a caesarean section.

Of mothers who have previously given birth and had a caesarean section, 23.7% had had one previous caesarean section, 5.7% had had two previous caesarean sections, and 1.6% had had three or more. The number of previous caesarean sections differed little by remoteness or socioeconomic status of the mother’s usual residence.

For related information see National Core Maternity Indicator Women having their second birth vaginally whose first birth was by caesarean section