In a "huge" new move by the National Health Service (NHS), women in the UK can give birth by Caesarean section, even when it's not a medical necessity.
According to new guidelines by The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), even healthy women with low-risk pregnancies can opt for C-sections if they prefer that birth method.
Although some obstetricians argue that Caesareans are "now much safer", it's still a major operation and the decision to give birth by this means shouldn't be taken lightly. Not only does it cost the NHS around £1,000 more than a natural birth, the operation has a longer recovery time and leaves a scar.
Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said midwives would discuss the risks and implications of C-sections with pregnant women.
"We are confident that when women are fully aware of the evidence they will not be asking for inappropriate Caesarean sections."
About a quarter of all UK births are currently by C-section, but under these guidelines that number would surely rise for cosmetic and convenient reasons.
Should C-sections be reserved for true emergencies (or subsequent births), or is the decision simply a personal preference?