When can I start trying for another baby after a Caesarean section?

Caesarean section is the most common major operation performed on women worldwide, with

Confused asian baby

women being over four times more likely to have a caesarean birth nowadays than they were thirty years ago. The concern about the high number of caesarean births means that healthcare professionals and the maternity services are trying to ensure that caesarean sections are only performed when necessary. Women who have undergone a caesarean are more likely to have their next baby by caesarean, and an additional concern is that the risks associated with having a caesarean increase with the number of caesareans a woman undergoes.

While your query is an extremely common topic for discussion on various mother and baby forums, there is actually very little evidence based information available about the timeframe for when you should start trying for another baby. However, the information that is available suggests that it is best to wait for a period of between one to two years. This is because when you’ve had a caesarean birth, your body needs time to recover from this major surgical procedure as well as the effects of pregnancy. Your uterus (womb) will need time to heal after the surgery as will your abdominal muscles. It is therefore advisable to allow your body the time it needs to recover sufficiently and give your muscles time to strengthen. The consensus expressed by obstetric colleagues is that, when they are asked this question by women, they advise them to wait one year before embarking on a subsequent pregnancy.

NB. The reason why your baby was born by caesarean section can make a difference to overall advice on the next pregnancy. Therefore, if it was a planned caesarean, or was undertaken as an emergency, there might be factors that could affect the advice, your GP will be able to discuss these with you and give you advice on an individual basis. Your local maternity unit might also be able to give you information about what they currently advise.