Tamsen Carson, Physician Assistant
The decision to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or trial after c-section (TOLAC) is a personal one, and should be made with the guidance of a physician. Many doctors do not perform VBACs due to the risk and the time required caring for the patient.
If your doctor offers this opportunity or you are interested in a VBAC, your doctor will first need to see if you qualify by looking at your history; most importantly why you had your first C-section, and if you are a good candidate this time. For example, you can only try for a VBAC if you had the correct incision location (on your uterus), you are able to prove that with medical documentation, you have only had one prior C-section, and if you go into labor naturally, as we cannot induce labor in patients with a scar on their uterus.
There are some risks factors to consider when making this decision, most notably the risk for your scar separating when you contract, which is known as uterine rupture. This can have very negative effects to the baby and to the mother, in the worst possible instance even death.
However, you must decide if you really want to try for a vaginal delivery, because if you have a second C-section, you will never have the chance to delivery vaginally again.
Talk to your doctor if you think a VBAC might a the best option for you. You can also try finding a doctor who offers this child birth option at renown.org/findadoc.