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Practice Bulletin No. 184 Summary: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002392
College Publications
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Trial of labor after cesarean delivery (TOLAC) refers to a planned attempt to deliver vaginally by a woman who has had a previous cesarean delivery, regardless of the outcome. This method provides women who desire a vaginal delivery 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 as well as a decrease in the overall cesarean delivery rate at the population level (1–3). However, although TOLAC is appropriate for many women, several factors increase the likelihood of a failed trial of labor, which in turn is associated with increased maternal and perinatal morbidity when compared with a successful trial of labor (ie, VBAC) and elective repeat cesarean delivery (4–6). Therefore, assessing the likelihood of VBAC as well as the individual risks is important when determining who is an appropriate candidate for TOLAC. Thus, the purpose of this document is to review the risks and benefits of TOLAC in various clinical situations and to provide practical guidelines for counseling and management of patients who will attempt to give birth vaginally after a previous cesarean delivery.

For a comprehensive overview of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery, the full-text version of this Practice Bulletin is available athttp://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000002398.

Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics: This Practice Bulletin was developed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics in collaboration with William Grobman, MD.

This information is designed as an educational resource to aid clinicians in providing obstetric and gynecologic care, and use of this information is voluntary. This information should not be considered as inclusive of all proper treatments or methods of care or as a statement of the standard of care. It is not intended to substitute for the independent professional judgment of the treating clinician. Variations in practice may be warranted when, in the reasonable judgment of the treating clinician, such course of action is indicated by the condition of the patient, limitations of available resources, or advances in knowledge or technology. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reviews its publications regularly; however, its publications may not reflect the most recent evidence. Any updates to this document can be found onwww.acog.orgor by calling the ACOG Resource Center.

While ACOG makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information, this publication is provided “as is” without any warranty of accuracy, reliability, or otherwise, either express or implied. ACOG does not guarantee, warrant, or endorse the products or services of any firm, organization, or person. Neither ACOG nor its officers, directors, members, employees, or agents will be liable for any loss, damage, or claim with respect to any liabili-ties, including direct, special, indirect, or consequential damages, incurred in connection with this publication or reliance on the information presented.

Copyright November 2017 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, posted on the Internet, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.

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Vaginal birth after cesarean delivery. Practice Bulletin No. 184. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2017:130:e217–33.

Received October 06, 2017

Accepted October 06, 2017

© 2017 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.