Does the term “TOLAC” tweak you?
On the acronym TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean)….
Some studies break out statistics in four ways.
1. ERCS/D (elective repeat cesarean section/delivery)
2. VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)
3. CBAC (cesarean birth after cesarean aka cesarean after planned VBAC)
4. TOLAC (VBAC + CBAC stats)
Because we are unable to predict who will have a VBAC or CBAC, the TOLAC stat enables us to review outcomes from a variety of angles:
- TOLAC vs. ERCS
- VBAC vs. ERCS
- CBAC vs. ERCS
Some birthing people, understandably, find the TOLAC acronym offensive, because it implies “trying,” so practitioners sensitive to this may want to use the phrase “planning a VBAC.”
The truth is, I don’t think maybe providers understand the emotional response people have to “TOLAC” as, in their world, it’s just the straightforward, objective term that care providers and researchers use.
Remember, your care provider is not your girlfriend. They use clinical terms because that is the language of their world. They speak like clinicians because they are clinicians.
But if you are a clinician, and you want to communicate your support of VBAC, again, intentionally use the phrase “planning a VBAC” and avoiding other terms is appreciated.
So parents, you use the language that works for you!
Just remember that TOLAC is really more of a clinical term and when your provider uses it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a jerk. They just may have forgotten to code switch from clinical to sensitive language.
Birthing people don’t typically say, “I’m so excited for my TOLAC!” However, if you do, you might make your provider laugh and connect with them on a human level.
What do you think?
Leave a comment.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
As an internationally recognized consumer advocate and Founder of VBAC Facts®, Jen helps perinatal professionals, and cesarean parents, achieve clarity on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) through her educational courses for parents, online membership for professionals, continuing education trainings, and consulting services. She speaks at conferences across the US, presents Grand Rounds at hospitals, advises on midwifery laws and rules that limit VBAC access, educates legislators and policy makers, and serves as an expert witness and consultant in legal proceedings. She envisions a time when every pregnant person seeking VBAC has access to unbiased information, respectful providers, and community support, so they can plan the birth of their choosing in the setting they desire.