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16 May 2018

Addressing the gap in information on caesarean sections for expectant parents

Experts from the Faculty worked with the charity Tommy’s to develop a series of webpages providing information about caesarean sections (c-section) for expectant parents. The resources, available on the Tommy’s website, address a big gap in information on the topic.

Pregnant woman's baby bump
Pregnant woman's baby bump

Around one in four women who give birth in the UK have a caesarean section (c-section) and until now, very little information was available for expectant parents about the procedure. The new webpages address this gap in information and provide comprehensive guidance and advice for both planned and emergency c-sections. The resources are wide-ranging, including articles on what happens during and after a c-section, tips for a healthy recovery, tips for dads and partners and stories from mothers who’ve experience a caesarean section.

Advisors in creating the Tommy’s c-section resources were Professor Debra Bick from the Department of Women and Children’s Health and Dr Yan-Shing Chang from the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care and Dr Fiona Denison, an obstetrician from Edinburgh University. Having highlighted the lack of information as a gap in maternal healthcare, they were approached by Tommy’s to inform the development of c-section resources for women.

Tommy’s is a charity which funds research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provides pregnancy health information to parents. Tommy’s information service provides accredited midwife-led pregnancy health information in an accessible way, to support expectant parents in understanding what they can do to support a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Debra Bick, Professor of Evidence Based Midwifery at King’s and advisor on the Tommy’s C-section resources said:

‘The numbers of women who have a caesarean birth are increasing, but at the same time, inpatient stay following birth is decreasing. Women need up to date information on what to expect leading up to the birth and what happens during the birth (if the c-section is planned).  All women will need timely support and information on how to manage their immediate and longer-term post-surgery and post-birth recovery.  Tommy’s resources provide valuable, clearly written, evidence-based information for women and those caring for them.’ 

In the first month since Tommy's published the information, nearly 7,000 people have viewed the webpages, highlighting the need that existed for these resources. 

Tommy’s website: C-sections – everything you need to know