Early oral feeding after cesarean delivery

David Soriano, Motti Dulitzki, Neomi Keidar, Gad Barkai, Shlomo Mashiach, Daniel S. Seidman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the gastrointestinal function and patient acceptability of early initiation of oral feeding after cesarean delivery. Methods: Two hundred twenty-one healthy women delivered by cesarean were assigned in an alternating manner to receive either a high-protein, low- residue pudding initiated within 6 hours of delivery and given every 6 hours thereafter (n = 108), or a standard postoperative diet, consisting of sips of water 12 hours after surgery and a liquid diet permitted only after bowel sounds returned and flatus passed (n = 113). Results: Compared with the control group, the early-feeding group had a shorter mean (± standard deviation) duration of intravenous fluid administration, 18.6 ± 6.3 versus 30.5 ± 8.1 hours (P < .001); more rapid return to regular oral diet, 26.8 ± 6.3 versus 39.7 ± 8.8 hours (P < .001); and a shorter time to first bowel movement, 30.0 ± 10.0 versus 43.3 ± 11.7 hours (P < .001). There was no significant increase in gastrointestinal morbidity: 17.4 versus 15.6%, respectively. Conclusion: Early feeding after cesarean delivery was well tolerated and was associated with a more rapid return to a normal diet. This approach may facilitate early hospital discharge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1008
Number of pages3
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


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