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Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

The Center for Women’s Health at St. Joseph’s in Phoenix, Arizona, supports patients who desire vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

VBAC is also known as trial of labor after cesarean (T)OLAC. All of our obstetricians are experienced in the care and delivery of women with previous C-sections, and our Labor and Delivery unit is staffed with highly trained nurses and an anesthesiologist available at all times in case of an emergency.

Experienced Care for Deliveries after Cesarean

If you have had a previous C-section and wish to have a vaginal birth, our physicians will conduct an evaluation to see if this is a safe option (for a partial list of requirements, see below). This is a detailed and collaborative process.

If you are a good candidate for a VBAC, our physicians will work with you to try to deliver your baby vaginally. Sometimes, in unforeseen circumstances, a woman may not be able to deliver vaginally and must undergo another C-section.

Criteria for Vaginal Birth after Cesarean

To be considered for a TOLAC/VBAC, you must have:

  • No more than two low-transverse cesarean deliveries
  • No additional uterine scars, anomalies or previous ruptures
  • The original reason for a cesarean delivery is not repeated with this pregnancy

Factors increasing the likelihood of a successful VBAC include:

  • You have no major medical problems or pregnancy complications
  • The baby is a normal size

Situations where a VBAC is not recommended include:

  • The baby is not head-down
  • The baby is assessed to be too large
  • The placenta is covering the cervix
  • Twin or multiple gestation pregnancy
  • Certain rare or complex medical problems

Our physicians will work with you to determine if you meet the criteria for a vaginal birth after cesarean.

Midwife Care for VBAC

If you prefer to work with a midwife, you can rest assured knowing that St. Joseph’s midwives are also experienced in vaginal birth after cesarean. Expectant mothers meet with both our obstetricians and midwives to discuss delivery hopes and expectations. Our obstetricians are also present during labor and delivery for immediate assistance and support.

Learn more about VBACs at St. Joseph’s

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced physicians or midwives, please call (602) 406-3715.