Vera Donovan, 31, a nanny in north London, was determined to have a Caesarean when she became pregnant with her daughter Cuisle, now aged two.

"I thought about my baby's head and my vagina and I just felt a natural birth was like something out of the caveman age. I don't know what women get from going through that pain and trauma. I have been a nanny for years and I love having children around me but I don't like the word natural. There is nothing natural about childbirth."

She added: "The risks didn't enter my head. As long as the baby was going to be OK, that was what mattered. I couldn't see how lifting the baby out could be worse than squishing her through the canal. Afterwards, I was on the same ward as someone who had had their baby naturally and she couldn't sit down. She had been ripped to shreds like some animal. I just felt having a Caesarean was a so much more humane way to do it."

Ms Donovan has been diabetic since the age of 13 and was told early in her pregnancy that a Caesarean was a possibility on account of her condition but did not have it confirmed until the seventh month.

The problem for diabetics is that their babies tend to be larger than normal, making delivery more difficult. But Ms Donovan strictly controlled her diet and when Cuisle was born she weighed in at just 6lbs 8 ozs. Still, she saw no point in trying and failing to have her baby normally when she could opt for a Caesarean.

"I found it bizarre that they would let a woman go for 12 hours in labour only to see it end with an emergency Caesarean. You have to do all that waiting to see whether you dilate so many centimetres in so many hours. It is so much nicer if you can adjust to what you are going to go through and prepare for it."

She had an uncomfortable pregnancy, suffering from a condition which affected her joints, and spent the last weeks on crutches – making her even more determined that labour should be manageable.

"I couldn't wait for that epidural to go in. They made three attempts which was horrible but then I just lay back and it was wonderful."