Rising rates of caesarean section (CS) have been attributed, in part, to maternal‐choice CS (MCCS). There are few published data regarding maternal and perinatal risks comparing MCCS with planned vaginal birth (VB) in uncomplicated first pregnancies to inform choice. We report the results of a pragmatic patient‐preference cohort study of private patients in Australia: 64 women planning MCCS and 113 women planning VB. There were few differences in outcome between the two groups. The study highlighted the well‐recognised difficulties in undertaking prospective research into MCCS.