Guidelines for postoperative care in cesarean delivery: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Society recommendations (part 3)

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Sep;221(3):247.e1-247.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2019.04.012. Epub 2019 Apr 14.


Background: This Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Guideline for postoperative care in cesarean delivery will provide best practice, evidenced-based recommendations for postoperative care with primarily a maternal focus.

Objective: The pathway process for scheduled and unscheduled cesarean delivery for this Enhanced Recovery After Surgery cesarean delivery guideline will consider time from completion of cesarean delivery until maternal hospital discharge.

Study design: The literature search (1966-2017) used Embase and PubMed to search medical subject headings that included "Cesarean Section," "Cesarean Delivery," "Cesarean Section Delivery," and all postoperative Enhanced Recovery After Surgery items. Study selection allowed titles and abstracts to be screened by individual reviewers to identify potentially relevant articles. Metaanalyses, systematic reviews, randomized controlled studies, nonrandomized controlled studies, reviews, and case series were considered for each individual topic. Quality assessment and data analyses evaluated the quality of evidence, and recommendations were evaluated according to the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system as used and described in previous Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Guidelines.

Results: The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery cesarean delivery guideline/pathway has created a pathway for postoperative care. Specifics include sham feeding, nausea and vomiting prevention, postoperative analgesia, nutritional care, glucose control, thromboembolism prophylaxis, early mobilization, urinary drainage, and discharge counseling. A number of elements of postoperative care of women who undergo cesarean delivery are recommended, based on the evidence.

Conclusion: As the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery cesarean delivery pathway (elements/processes) are studied, implemented, audited, evaluated, and optimized by the maternity care teams, there will be an opportunity for focused and optimized areas of care and recommendations to be further enhanced.

Keywords: cesarean delivery; enhanced recovery.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section*
  • Enhanced Recovery After Surgery / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Postoperative Care / standards*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Recovery of Function