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No eating/drinking before c section

(43 Posts)
IMissSleep Sun 23-Mar-14 07:13:40

I'm booked in for my section in 3 weeks and just wondering about the no eating/drinking before.

I'm due to go in at 7:30am. What's the deal with no water? I've been told not to eat or drink after 12am but no water??!

Meglet Sun 23-Mar-14 07:28:05

I didn't find it as bad as I thought it would be. I was high on adrenaline / nerves so getting ready and getting to hospital whizzed by.

I also found it easier to eat lightly on the day before the op. I'd had a previous bad experience with constipation after an EMCS so I really didn't want anything in my stomach before an ELCS!

IMissSleep Sun 23-Mar-14 07:32:35


Yes I had terribly painful constipation after my first section so good plan on eating light! Will stock up on books and puzzles to take my mind off the thirst grin

ShadowFall Sun 23-Mar-14 07:32:58

I think that kind of rule is pretty standard before planned operations?

I think it's in case they have to use a GA - if someone was to vomit while under a GA and unconcious they could choke. If they've not eaten before the operation, there's a much lower risk of them vomiting in the first place.

Claryrocks Sun 23-Mar-14 07:34:47

A c-section is surgery. You are not able to eat or drink water before surgery. If you have anything on your lungs and vomit there is a risk fluid could go onto your lungs - aspiration which is a very serious complication. They're not making you not drink just to be cruel. I wasn't allowed to drink towards the end of my difficult vaginal labour in case I had to be rushed into surgery. They're just keeping you safe.

IMissSleep Sun 23-Mar-14 07:39:00

Never thought it was a rule to be cruel just wanted to know if a few sips would be acceptable.
No big deal really, I'm sure the anxiety and adrenalin will take my mind off it!

AuditAngel Sun 23-Mar-14 07:41:16

I recall that I was allowed to swill water around my mouth but not swallow, so you needn't be uncomfortable, but you just need to remember not to swallow......

bellablot Sun 23-Mar-14 07:50:49

It's 5pm the night before here for no food or drink. The no drinking water is a bit harsh alright but you'll be thankful for the empty stomach the next day, the trapped wind is horrendous. I'm eating nothing but salad for three days before mine, I've learnt my lesson! wink

bouncychair Sun 23-Mar-14 07:54:48

I had to stop eating and drinking the night before too. When they told me I wouldn't be going into theatre until at least 2pm they let me have a glass of water at about 9am.

I was starving when I came out of theatre and so had some toast. Was sick almost straight away - the midwives did try to warn me not to eat!

Mouldypineapple Sun 23-Mar-14 07:55:21

Well where I work (not c-sections specifically) the rule is 6 hours food, 2 hours water. So you could probably have a sip of water as long as its at least 2 hours pre OP. A small amount like that would be absorbed easily before your OP. only have a little bit though.

IMissSleep Sun 23-Mar-14 07:57:44

I was booked in for a section with my first (breech) but he decided to come early. I'd just scoffed a roast with pudding and my waters went. Rushed to hospital and in theatre 2 hrs later. I remember the sickness feeling confused and the TERRIBLE wind after! I will also be on salads and light bites the days leading up!

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Mar-14 08:01:07

Mine was no food or drink from midnight. I got to the hospital at 7am but kept being bumped for emergencies so didn't end up in theatre till about 3pm. They put me on a drip in the end as I got a bit tearful.

mrsminiverscharlady Sun 23-Mar-14 08:01:25

No water after midnight is poor practice. National guidelines are 2 hours with no water. I would query it as prolonged fasting can cause dehydration.

andadietcoke Sun 23-Mar-14 08:04:52

Ah. I didn't think about eating lightly in the run up. We went out for a 'last supper' Mexican the night before with my comedy 38w twin bump and I spent the night awake with horrendous indigestion even despite the pre op ranitidine. Don't do that!

IMissSleep Sun 23-Mar-14 08:09:22

I'm seeing my midwife tomorrow so we ask her.
A friend said she was allowed a glass of water when she arrived at 8am at the same hospital as me and a small one again 2hrs before (bath RUH)

I'll miss my morning cup of tea more than anything!

ThreeBecameFour Sun 23-Mar-14 08:10:40

It isn't as bad as you think it will be. you can have very small amounts of water if your mouth is super dry. But trust me, eat lightly and you will be much more comfortable once your plumbing begins working again (both wee & poo). Any gas etc can be very painful. Peppermint water can help, as can peppermint tea, once you are a day or two into recovery. Constipation can be agony - don't force anything or you will have piles to deal with as well! They will want you to be able to go to the loo before you go home if possible. TMI but that first poo... it can be very very painful...remember your insides will have been jiggled about so you need to be kind to yourself once things start getting up and running again wink...

Vajazzler Sun 23-Mar-14 08:11:11

Pack some dried apricots in your bag for after the section. When you feel well enough to eat again have a handful every couple of hours until you are pooing regularly.

ThreeBecameFour Sun 23-Mar-14 08:12:07

That cup of tea you'll be craving... you won't think of it so much with all that is going on

IMissSleep Sun 23-Mar-14 08:19:36

Thanks ladies

First time was such a blur as he was early and ended up being an emergency that I don't remember that much!

Peppermint tea bags already packed! Will get some dried fruit packs today.

Jcb77 Sun 23-Mar-14 09:04:09

Usual fasting guidelines are 6h for food (inc milk in tea etc) and 2h for clear fluids (black tea,water, dilute squash - not real fruit juice or fizzy drinks). Dehydration is a problem, esp if you are at risk of being delayed.
I usually say that you should have a big glass of water with your 6am antacid tablets on the day of surgery.
Double check with your midwife and if you get no joy is probe further. No water for potentially 12h is not good prior to delivery.
However, those that think a family-sized bucket of KFC mid difficult labour is a good idea - please please no!

1944girl Sun 23-Mar-14 19:11:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jcb77 Sun 23-Mar-14 22:33:52

Precisely 1944girl. A pregnant woman's stomach is never deemed 'empty' in the way that a non pregnant person's stomach is, and appropriate precautions are always taken by the anaesthetist. In labour, because it can go on for hours, starvation and dehydration are neither kind nor physiologically appropriate. If things start going off key though and becoming 'higher risk', food is usually not advised but clear fluids are.
Prior to an elective section though, starvation overnight is fine and the 2h rule for clear fluids also usually applies (some are less stringent and recent research is showing that 2h might be more than enough). No fluids from midnight though is very unusual and likely not in the interests of mum or babe.
Yes it's to do with regurgitation of stomach contents. A full roast dinner coming back up and down into your lungs is Bad. A bit of extra water is not good but not on the same scale and is a balance of risk.
Food in the non pregnant stomach takes about 6 hours to clear, in a linear fashion. Fluid about 2. In a much more logarithmic fashion (most is gone by about an hour). Pregnant stomachs are a different entity but in general the same guidelines are used.
I would be very surprised if the actual recommendation were no fluids from midnight - hence double checking.

IMissSleep Mon 24-Mar-14 07:14:07

Yes I will Double check today.

It does say no food or fluids from midnight but like you said that's a long time without water.

Have my midwife app this morning so will let you know what she says

IMissSleep Mon 24-Mar-14 14:14:16

Midwife has said I will be allowed little sips just not huge glasses! Phew grin

ChaffinchOfDoom Mon 24-Mar-14 20:09:54

my section details are very clear - no food or drink from midnight; plus the tiniest sip to take the ratinidine
MW warned if I eat/drink they will not do the op.

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