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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 943-949

Effects of early oral feeding versus delayed feeding on gastrointestinal function of post-caesarean section women in a tertiary hospital in Enugu, Nigeria: A randomized controlled trial


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, ESUT Teaching Hospital Parklane, Enugu State, Nigeria
2 Institute of Maternal and Child Health, College of Medicine; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku-Ozalla Campus, Enugu State, Nigeria
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku-Ozalla Campus, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Prof. C C Dim
Institute of Maternal and Child Health, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku-Ozalla Campus, P.M.B. 01129, Enugu - 400001
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_353_16

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Background: Initiation of oral intake after caesarean delivery influences return of bowel function, ambulation of patients, and time to recover from surgery. Aims: To assess the effect of early versus delayed initiation of oral feeding after caesarean delivery on gastrointestinal function, pace of recovery, and maternal satisfaction at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu. Settings and Design: This was a randomized controlled study of women who had caesarean delivery from December 2012 to September 2013 at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology UNTH, Enugu, Nigeria. In all, 282 participants were randomized equally into early and delayed oral feeding groups. Oral intake was commenced at 8 h post operation for those in early feeding group and at 48 h post operation for those in delayed feeding group. The primary outcome measure was the time interval from the end of surgery to the return of bowel sound. Subjects and Methods: Analysis was by intention-to-treat. SPSS version 16 was used for data entry and analysis was done using cross tabulation and Fisher's exact test for categorical data and independent sample T-test for continuous data. P value of <0.05 was regarded as statistically significant. Results: Apart from gastrointestinal complications, there was significant difference between early and delayed feeding groups with respect to all the outcome variables: return of bowel sound (17.8 ± 4.3 h vs 35.2 ± 9.4 h; P < 0.001), return to regular diet 48.9 ± 5.2 h vs 85.5 ± 7.0 h; P < 0.001), postoperative time interval to ambulation (20.3 ± 7.0 h vs 30.9 ± 9.6 h; P < 0.001), and maternal satisfaction as estimated with visual analog scale (86.4 ± 10.4 mm vs 40.0 ± 25.9 mm; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Early initiation of oral feeding after caesarean delivery is safe and may be associated with earlier return of bowel functions, earlier ambulation, shorter postoperative time interval to become eligible for discharge, and high maternal satisfaction.


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