Effect of early oral carbohydrate intake after elective Cesarean delivery on maternal body temperature and satisfaction: a randomized controlled trial


Purpose: Although the Enhanced Recovery After Cesarean Delivery (ERAC) consensus statement provides recommendations for early postoperative drinking and eating, evidence from high-quality clinical research directly addressing parturients is sparse. Our objective was to assess if early oral carbohydrate intake after elective Cesarean delivery improves maternal recovery. Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, we enrolled parturients undergoing elective Cesarean delivery under spinal anesthesia with tympanic membrane temperatures ≤ 36.5 °C immediately upon arrival at the postanesthesia care unit. Parturients were randomized to either 100 mL of oral complex carbohydrate intake (group CC) or 10 mL of water (group C). The primary outcome was maternal tympanic membrane temperature. Other outcomes included maternal thermal comfort score, degree of shivering, satisfaction, degree of thirst and hunger, and gastric emptying assessed by ultrasonography. Results: We included 90 participants in the final analysis. The mean (standard deviation [SD]) maternal body temperature at 120 min after ingestion was 36.7 (0.3) °C in group CC and 36.6 (0.3) °C in group C (difference in means, 0.14 °C; 95% confidence interval, 0.02 to 0.26; P = 0.02). Furthermore, using repeated measure models, the linear trends of temperature changes over time between groups CC and C were significantly different (P = 0.04). The thermal comfort scores at 120 min after ingestion were higher in group CC than in group C (P = 0.02), and the linear trends of shivering score changes over time between groups CC and C also were different (P = 0.003). The mean (SD) visual analogue scale scores for maternal satisfaction were 84 (13) mm in group CC and 47 (20) mm in group C (P < 0.001). Nevertheless, at 90 and 120 min after ingestion, there were no differences between the two groups in the number of participants with a gastric antrum cross-sectional area > 10.3 cm2. Conclusions: Early oral carbohydrate intake after Cesarean delivery helped to restore maternal body temperature postoperatively and improve maternal satisfaction. Nevertheless, the clinical importance of these finding is unclear, given that most of the differences were small. In addition, there was no delay in maternal gastric emptying after consumption of a complex carbohydrate beverage in the early post-Cesarean period. Study registration: www.chictr.org.cn (ChiCTR2000031085); first submitted 13 November 2022.

Publication Title

Canadian Journal of Anesthesia