The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidelines to the NHS asking that no woman, who prefers caesarean delivery, should be refused, but health care providers should explain to the woman the health risks of a surgery.

It is expected that such information would bring down the rate of surgeries performed.

NICE committee believes most women would choose a vaginal delivery if they are given proper information and the latest guidelines do not recognise that women choose a caesarean because they were "too posh to push."

Contrary to the phrase often used by media "too posh to push," most women opted for a caesarean for reasons related to physical or mental safety, the Nice committee said.

Once women have a discussion about the risks and benefits with health professionals, "they want to opt for the safest option. A lot of the anxiety is related to lack of information and lack of knowledge," a committee member and consultant midwife at St. Thomas' hospital, Nina Khazaezade, said.

Women may have the wrong impression from listening to friends and relatives or using the internet. "Communication is key to ensure we unravel these myths," Khazaezade added.

"About 25% of women give birth by caesarean in the UK, but mostly because of an emergency," said Nice's deputy chief executive, Dr. Gillian Leng.

The Guardian reports that new recommendations to the NHS will bring the numbers down marginally, where even a HIV positive woman, with the help of medications will be allowed to have a vaginal birth. Women who have had two previous caesareans can now also be monitored and cared for in a better way.

"Caesarean section is major surgery. It is about as major as hysterectomy, after which you go home and do nothing for six weeks and some employers won't expect you back for six months. After a caesarean we send a lady home after two days and say 'here's a baby to look after as well,' " Malcolm Griffiths, head of the guidelines committee and a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Luton and Dunstable hospital said.

Some women fear vaginal delivery or tokophobia, usually during first birth or those who have suffered a traumatic experience during an earlier delivery.

The revised guidelines were issued as the Royal College of Midwives, in a latest release, stated that there is a severe shortage of staff across Britain. England, worst hit, needs 5,000 more midwives to cope with a birth rate up 22 percent since 2001. Scotland needs 140 more, while Wales and Northern Ireland have an ageing workforce.

Lack of midwife support can contribute to a traumatic delivery and cause women to seek a caesarean next time, said Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust.

"Our services fail women badly at the moment ... We hear from too many women who have found their experience traumatising in some way."

"If caesarean rates go up following the change to the guidelines, it will be evidence that women are not getting the quality of midwifery support they need to instill confidence and feelings of safety while giving birth."