If you had a cesarean delivery in a previous pregnancy and are now preparing for the birth of another child, you may consider talking to your physician or midwife about delivering your baby vaginally. Today, most women who have had cesarean births are encouraged to give birth through the vagina if no risk factors are present. For most women, the benefits of attempting vaginal birth outweigh the risks. In fact, most of these women have successful vaginal deliveries.
The old phrase "once a C-section always" is no longer true. In the past, the belief was that if a woman had delivered one baby by C-section, all other children had to be delivered the same way. Today many women can have vaginal deliveries after a previous C-section delivery. This is referred to as a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Attempting to have a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean section is called a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC).
There are several reasons to consider a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean delivery:
However, ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) recommends that for some women, the risk of TOLAC/VBAC may not outweigh the risks, such as rupture of the uterus. For women with these complications, a second C-section may be recommended as a safer alternative:
TriHealth’s Board-Certified Physicians and Certified Nurse Midwives support TOLAC and VBAC when the situation is deemed safe for mother and baby. Please talk to your provider to see if they feel you are a candidate for vaginal birth following C-section.