Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
I am 35 years old and 6 months pregnant with my first baby and would like to know if it is permissible to opt for an elective C-section as I am afraid of labour pains and also if I opt for an epidural then I might as well have the C-section instead of a normal vaginal delivery.
I need advice if an elective operation is permissible during child birth as I have had no health problems Alḥamdulillāh, I am just afraid of labour pains.
In the Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question. Congratulations on the upcoming new born. We pray for ease and success.
Having an elected C-section is only islamicaly permissible if doctors and medical experts have advised it. In most cases they only advise it if there is a medical concern or complication with yourself or the baby.
We would also like to point out that even a scheduled C-section may not go as planned and you very well could go into labour early and experience the labour pains that you are afraid of. You also have to think about the recovery period and scarring after you have a C-section. If you are afraid about the labour pains, how will you feel after the operation? After a C-section you are not able to lift more than 6 lbs and most babies are born 6 lbs or heavier, so you need to consider these points as well.
We would highly recommend that you consult your obstetrician and or gynecologist and go over everything with them before you make your decision.
The Islamic injunction is that a procedure, surgery, treatment or medication can only be employed if there is a necessity for it that will improve one’s health otherwise it will fall in the category tampering with the natural way God has created things, which is prohibited in the Qurʿān. (See: 4:119)
And Allāh Knows Best