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Table 2 Summary of three Zones of Clinical Practice

From: Recovery after caesarean birth: a qualitative study of women's accounts in Victoria, Australia

Zone Explanation Examples from women's accounts
Central zone Caesarean section performed for unambiguous clinical reasons* (life-saving) Footling breech, hand presentation, severe oligohydramnios at term, not in labour; severe pre-eclampsia; antepartum haemorrhage in labour, prior caesarean; severe unstable asthma.
Grey zone Caesarean section performed for ambiguous clinical reasons* Maternal 'exhaustion'; 'slow' progress in labour; mild gestational diabetes; suspicion of 'big' baby; mild hypertension.
Peripheral zone Caesarean section performed in the absence of clinical reasons Maternal request (past history of negative birth experience, fear for baby's safety, fear of vaginal birth).
  1. *Adapted from: A guide to effective care in pregnancy and childbirth ed. Enkin M, Keirse M, et. al. (2000); Oxford University Press, Oxford [2].