Caesarean section as a contentious topic has attracted attention world-wide and different dimensions of the issue has been investigated. The primary reason behind these initiatives have been the upsurge of caesarean sections both in the developed and developing world and the realisation that the operation may not always contribute positively to the mother's and baby's health. By contrast, several studies have demonstrated both the short and long term negative effects. Research has also revealed that factors other than medical necessity play an important role in the decision to perform a caesarean section. Turkey, although reliable data does not exist, can be classified among the countries experiencing the caesarean epidemic, at least among highly educated and wealthy mothers. This research, exploring the perceptions of mothers in a teaching hospital with a high caesarean rate, is a rare example of its kind in Turkey. The main finding is the dissatisfaction of the mothers undergoing caesareans during their stay in the hospital. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.