Some women who have previously delivered a child by cesarean section wish to give birth vaginally in a successive pregnancy. Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) is when a mother gives birth vaginally after having delivered a prior baby by cesarean section. A Trial of Labor After Cesarean (TOLAC) is the attempt to deliver vaginally after a cesarean section.
According to the latest research, VBAC is a safe and healthier option for some women. Compared to a planned cesarean delivery, VBAC does not require abdominal surgery, and therefore has a shorter recovery period, lower risk of infection, and less blood loss. For women who wish to have more children, VBAC also helps avoid problems linked to multiple cesarean deliveries, such as hysterectomy, bowel or bladder injury, and certain problems with the placenta.
VBAC/TOLAC are not without their own risks. During a TOLAC, rupture of the cesarean scar or the uterus itself can occur. Although a rupture of this type is rare, it is very serious and potentially harmful to both mother and baby. Women at a higher risk of uterine rupture should not attempt a TOLAC.
Shoemaker Ob-Gyn supports TOLAC for women who request it while making each expectant mother’s health and safety, as well as that of her baby, our highest priority. If a woman’s prior cesarean delivery was performed by another physician, Shoemaker Ob-Gyn prefers to review prior surgical reports before attempting a TOLAC.
TOLAC does not always result in a successful VBAC, and expectant mothers attempting TOLAC should be prepared for changes to their delivery plan in the event that circumstances change. Somewhere between 60-80% of TOLACs result in a successful VBAC. Visit this site for a calculator that predicts your likelihood of a successful VBAC.