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Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Aug;116(2 Pt 1):450-63. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181eeb251.

ACOG Practice bulletin no. 115: Vaginal birth after previous cesarean delivery.


Trial of labor after previous cesarean delivery (TOLAC)* provides women who desire a vaginal delivery with the possibility of achieving that goal--a vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC). In addition to fulfilling a patient's preference for vaginal delivery, at an individual level VBAC is associated with decreased maternal morbidity and a decreased risk of complications in future pregnancies. At a population level, VBAC also is associated with a decrease in the overall cesarean delivery rate (1, 2). Although TOLAC is appropriate for many women with a history of a cesarean delivery, several factors increase the likelihood of a failed trial of labor, which compared with VBAC, is associated with increased maternal and perinatal morbidity (3-5). Assessment of individual risks and the likelihood of VBAC is, therefore, important in determining who are appropriate candidates for TOLAC. The purpose of this document is to review the risks and benefits of TOLAC in various clinical situations and provide practical guidelines for managing and counseling patients who will give birth after a previous cesarean delivery.

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