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Cesarean delivery on maternal request. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 761. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2019;133:e73–7.
The incidence of cesarean delivery on maternal request and its contribution to the overall increase in the cesarean delivery rate are not well known, but it is estimated that 2.5% of all births in the United States are cesarean delivery on maternal request. Cesarean delivery on maternal request is not a well-recognized clinical entity. The available information that compared the risks and benefits of cesarean delivery on maternal request and planned vaginal delivery does not provide the basis for a recommendation for either mode of delivery. When a woman desires a cesarean delivery on maternal request, her health care provider should consider her specific risk factors, such as age, body mass index, accuracy of estimated gestational age, reproductive plans, personal values, and cultural context. In the absence of maternal or fetal indications for cesarean delivery, a plan for vaginal delivery is safe and appropriate and should be recommended. After exploring the reasons behind the patient’s request and discussing the risks and benefits, if a patient decides to pursue cesarean delivery on maternal request, the following is recommended: in the absence of other indications for early delivery, cesarean delivery on maternal request should not be performed before a gestational age of 39 weeks; and given the high repeat cesarean delivery rate, patients should be informed that the risks of placenta previa, placenta accreta spectrum, and gravid hysterectomy increase with each subsequent cesarean delivery. This Committee Opinion has been revised to incorporate additional data regarding outcomes and information on counseling, and to link to existing American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ resources.