Baby Got VBAC!

Photo Credit - Lexi Hurst Photography

April is C-Section Awareness Month, and you can't have a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean without first having a Cesarean.  

What is a VBAC?  It's the acronym for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.  Before one achieves a VBAC, a Trial of Labor after Cesarean or TOLAC is the terminology used.  The decision to attempt a VBAC is personal, and many women elect a repeat C-Section.  If a mother feels safe and secure by electing a repeat C-Section, she should be praised.  For those who TOLAC, and have an Unplanned C-Section, they should be celebrated.  There is no right or wrong answer.  I have now experienced two VBACs, and am very passionate about helping women advocate for themselves for the right to attempt a TOLAC if desired.  Many women do not feel they have the option to attempt a vaginal birth after cesarean; and there are certainly some considerations when attempting a TOLAC.

The VBAC Calculator

The VBAC calculator is an algorithm that indicates your likelihood for success of a vaginal birth after Cesarean.  Some physicians or hospitals will require a percentage before VBAC support is granted.  This percentage should not be regarded as the sole reason to attempt a TOLAC.

In a study by the Mayo Clinic in 2013, the success rate for women in the U.S. who attempted a trial of labor (TOLAC) after one previous cesarean was 70%.  After two or more cesareans the percentage was 51%.

Due Date Deadline

If your provider suggests to schedule a repeat C-Section or enforces a deadline (You must go into labor before 39 weeks) they are not VBAC supportive.  A VBAC supportive provider can optimize your chance for success of a vaginal delivery.  An arbitrary deadline can cause undue stress on a mother, and will not create an atmosphere of serenity. Studies have shown, spontaneous labor is safest for the woman and infant.    

Uterine Rupture

One of the considerations in attempting a TOLAC is Uterine Rupture - a rupture can occur in a first delivery, but the statistics show that the risk of uterine rupture for trial of labor after cesarean is 0.47%.  

Avoid Induction

Induction with the use of medication can be avoided for a woman who is attempting a TOLAC.  The risk of uterine rupture increases by 1.1% if you have Pitocin, 2% if you have prostaglandins, and 6% if you’re given misoprostol to induce labor.  Failed inductions have also been known to lead to C-Sections.

There are contraindications or reasons a woman would want to elect a repeat C-Section for her own well being or the well being of the baby.  Contraindications include: having a prior classical or inverted T uterine scar, a previous hysterectomy, a prior uterine rupture, placenta previa, or a baby in transverse lie position.  

So why did I fight for my VBAC?  I knew my body was made to give birth.  I was familiar with the long and tedious recovery of a major abdominal surgery, and the pain and limitations that followed for months.  I did not want what was convenient for a doctor to dictate how I was “allowed” to deliver.  I knew if a C-Section was medically necessary, I would happily undergo the surgery.  I have since had 2 unmedicated VBAC's - in March of 2020 and March 2022.  But it was not without advocating for myself and immersing myself in education.  I started Made Mindful so I could educate and empower other woman to achieve a Mindful Birth.  Find out how in our self paced Birth Course.

9 Months In
9 Months Out

Sarah’s greatest joy is her family: her husband and boys.  In her free time, she loves escaping in a great book, “Sarahnading” on her violin, singing, creating crafts and diy projects, hiking the gorgeous mountains of Utah and skiing.  Sarah is a Birth Coach and Certified Birth Doula.  She’s had 3 amazing births and is passionate to help you achieve the birth of your dreams.  

Sarah Ziroll

Sarah Ziroll