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The University of Chicago Medicine - The Family Birth Center

TOLAC/VBAC

Trial of Labor After Cesarean/Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

In the past, after one or two cesarean deliveries (C-sections), vaginal birth could not be considered. At the Family Birth Center, you may have an alternative option.

What is the difference between TOLAC and VBAC?

Trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) is a planned or attempted vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Sometimes, there is a need to change the plan, and a TOLAC results in cesarean birth after cesarean (CBAC). A birth is officially considered a VBAC once the TOLAC results in a vaginal delivery.

What are the benefits of VBAC?

For women who have vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), the benefits are significant compared to a repeat C-section, including:

  • Delivery without abdominal surgery
  • Quicker recovery and healing
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Reduced risk of hysterectomy, bowel or bladder injury, placental disorders, and other complications associated with multiple C-sections

Is TOLAC/VBAC an option for me?

Your physician or midwife can help you understand your risk factors and whether or not a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) is a recommended option for you. It may depend on certain personal health factors, such as:

  • The type of uterine incision used with your previous C-section(s)
  • Whether or not you plan to have more children
  • Whether you have a maternal-fetal condition that could complicate vaginal delivery

If you have a history of uterine rupture, TOLAC/VBAC is not a safe recommendation for you.