For most women having PGP is not a reason to need a caesarean section, although there may be other factors that make it necessary, such as the position of the baby or if you have other medical problems. Some women with PGP wish to opt for one based on their pain levels, mobility and previous birth experiences, to name but a few issues. It is important to gather as much information as you can before making any decisions.
You will have pain from the abdominal wound in addition to your PGP pain, and your recovery time may be longer overall than a woman who has no symptoms of PGP. There is also a limit on how many caesarean sections you can have – so if you are planning to have lots of babies this may not be the right option for you. There are also acknowledged risks associated with a caesarean section and NICE guidelines clarify these. As with vaginal birth, make sure your consultant knows you have PGP and is aware of your pain-free gap and the positions you can and cannot manage. You also have to remain aware of the masking effects of pain relief during and after surgery.
Some hospitals promote caesarean section as the only option with PGP, but the experience of our members indicates that this is not necessarily the case. There is no research evidence to show that it is the best option, so doctors rely on their experiences and individual circumstances when helping you to make a decision. If you wish to talk to one of our members with personal experience of either caesarean or vaginal birth, please contact us.
"The atmosphere in the theatre was lovely and it was a very special time. Even my husband, who is very squeamish and quite concerned about how he would cope, said it was just amazing. He even stood up to see our son lifted out of me. It was, for us, a once in a lifetime moment and the theatre team around us was excellent. The baby was laid on my chest whilst the surgeons worked on the other side of the screen and he was given to my husband when they needed to move me."
Content reviewed and updated in 2017.