Originally Posted by richella
If it had not been a true emergency, why would they be doing it?
If you are going for an ERCS and tell them you ate something after the allotted time frame, they'll post-pone surgery. If it's a c-section for breech or placenta previa, they'll post-pone. There are several reasons a woman might have a medically indicated c-section scheduled that aren't an EMERGENCY, as in, surgery does not have to take place at that very moment in order to save mom and/or baby from dying.
They tell you not to eat for x amount of time prior to surgery for your protection. Problem with that is when they treat ALL women in labor as a section waiting to happen. Of course, in many hospitals these days, that's not far from the truth.
Anyhow, I digress...
Being married to someone who does anesthesia for a living, my biggest piece of advice would be to BE HONEST with your anesthesia provider should the need arise for a c-section. Making the choice to eat 'against medical advice' isn't really that big of a deal in my mind as long as you know, understand, and accept the risks of doing so. If you end up puking everywhere, well, it's YOU that'll be puking, so I honestly don't see why they make quite the ordeal out of eating during labor that they do.
The risk of needing a crash c-section under general anesthesia (which is when the risk of aspriation is at its highest) is truly not that high to begin with, and I can certainly see where eating light snacks as tolerated makes more sense as long as there is no indication of a problem with mom/baby during labor.
BUT PLEASE....*IF* the time comes that a section is warranted, PLEASE tell the anesthesia folks what you've eaten, had to drink, how much, when it was, etc. They need to know this information to be able to treat you to the best of their ability during surgery, and lying to them is not going to do you any good (not that anybody suggested they'd lie if it came down to an emergency, but just as general precaution).
It is true that if you are in a car wreck on your way home from gorging yourself over a huge 8 course dinner, they'll operate on you despite this fact if your life depends upon it. HOWEVER, there are precautions they can/do take in those cases, and they will monitor you closer for signs of aspiration if it is known you went into surgery on a 'full stomach'.
All that said, for myself personally, when going in for ERCS, I adhere to the no food after midnight (or 8 hours prior to scheduled surgery) rule. I do *not* adhere to the nothing by mouth rule, as I will 'eat' ice chips up until they take me to the OR. Not gallons of them mind you, but I refuse to have NOTHING to quench my thirst, and it's a risk DH and I are both comfortable with me taking.
I also do not adhere to the 24 hour clear liquids after my sections. I eat whatever sounds good, usually in massive quantities as my horrid reflux is finally GONE after delivery. I had fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a roll 3 hours after my second section. The nurse was horrified, but I knew my anesthetic history had never involved puking, I was STARVED, and I figured my body has ALWAYS been pretty good at sending off appropriate signals as to what I could/could not eat without getting sick. So I ate.
It's really a choice that has to be made ultimately by mom after considering why it is 'they' tell you not to eat/drink during labor, weighing the risks/benefits to yourself, and making a decision you feel comfortable with. I'd have dared that nurse to take my fried chicken after surgery. He'd have lost a hand I'm afraid.