Background. To compare early oral feeding (EF) versus late oral feeding (LF) on the return of normal bowel functions in spinally anesthetized women after having lower segment Caesarean section (LSCS). Secondary outcomes such as maternal satisfaction and gastrointestinal complications were also evaluated. Methods. Three-hundred and sixty-two singleton pregnant women undergoing elective LSCS with spinal anesthesia were assigned to receive either EF (n= 183) or LF (n= 179) after surgery. Participants began to take normal diet between immediately and 6 hours, or began sipping water after 12 hours and soft diet after 24 hours then normal diet after 48 hours of surgery. Results. The ages of participants ranged from 19 to 47, with a mean age of 35±12 years. There was no-loss follow up and no significant difference in patient characteristics. Participants given EF were more likely to experience bowel sound the next morning after surgery than patients given LF (EF 93% vs. LF 71%, P<0.05). However, there was no difference in time to passing flatus and time to passing stool. Maternal satisfaction, rated on a 5-point scale was significantly higher in the EF group. However, there was no significant difference in gastrointestinal complications between both groups.
Conclusion. The findings of this trial support the recommendation of EF for women who undergo uncomplicated LSCS under spinal anesthesia.
Early oral feeding, Late oral feeding, Caesarean section, Spinal anesthesia, Bowel function
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