Vaginal birth after cesarean delivery: a common-sense approach

Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Aug;118(2 Pt 1):342-350. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182245b39.


Once a woman is delivered by cesarean, her options in a subsequent pregnancy are either a planned trial of labor or a planned elective repeat cesarean. There are no randomized trials comparing these two choices to definitively guide patients and physicians. The primary cesarean rate is increasing and vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC) rates are decreasing. Nonmedical factors have had a major effect on these trends. The 2010 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Conference on VBAC, after presenting a detailed analysis of benefits compared with risks, recommended that measures should be taken to assure women that VBAC is available to them. This will require an organized and concerted effort on the part of patients, physicians, and hospitals. To meet patient expectations for a safe and successful outcome with a trial of labor after cesarean delivery (TOLAC), specific management plans, checklists, practical coverage arrangements, and simulation drills are necessary.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference, NIH

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Trial of Labor*
  • Vaginal Birth after Cesarean* / adverse effects