VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) and TOLAC (Trial of Labor After Cesarean) are terms often encountered in discussions surrounding childbirth, particularly among women who have previously undergone a cesarean section (C-section). VBAC refers to the delivery of a baby through the vaginal canal after a previous C-section, while TOLAC specifically denotes the attempt to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean. These options offer women who have had a prior C-section the possibility of experiencing a vaginal delivery in subsequent pregnancies, providing they meet certain criteria and are deemed suitable candidates by their healthcare providers.

One of the primary considerations for VBAC and TOLAC is the safety of both the mother and the baby. While vaginal birth is generally associated with fewer complications and faster recovery compared to C-sections, there are potential risks involved, such as uterine rupture—a rare but serious complication where the C-section scar on the uterus tears during labor. Healthcare providers carefully assess factors such as the reason for the previous C-section, the type of uterine incision, and the presence of any medical conditions that may affect the likelihood of a successful VBAC or TOLAC.

Furthermore, the decision to pursue VBAC or TOLAC involves discussions between the expectant mother and her healthcare team, weighing the potential benefits and risks based on individual circumstances. Factors such as maternal age, medical history, and the interval between pregnancies are taken into account. Ultimately, empowering women with the knowledge and support to make informed decisions about their childbirth experiences is crucial in ensuring safe and positive outcomes for both mother and baby.

Vaginal birth after cesarean delivery VBAC – ACOG