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Are you packing your hospital bag to take for when you have your baby? There’s another item to add the list – chewing gum.
It’s not only perfect for hospital breath, experts have now found a way more important motive to pack gum. It’s been found that new mothers who give birth by caesarean section should chew gum for approximately 30 minutes three times a day following the operation to assist restoration of regular gut function.
One in five new mothers are diagnosed with a condition called post-operative ileus after a caesarean section; meaning many women’s digestive processes and bowel movements slow or stop completely. Study author Dr Vincenzo Berghella, from the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, said symptoms can include bloating, stomach pain and nausea.
So what did the good doctor do?
His team trawled through 17 different studies and asked: “How long did it take after a caesarean section for a new mother to fart?”
And why would they do that?: because passing wind demonstrates the bowels are in good working condition. If you can’t fart, it may well indicate there is a blockage in your gut.
The act of chewing can trick our bodies in to thinking it’s eating; sending the gut a message to begin working as normal again.
Researchers picked up that those who chewed gum passed wind about 23 hours after their procedure, as opposed to 29.5 hours for people who didn’t chew gum.
That’s six-and-a-half hours quicker; so you could help alleviate pain or discomfort that much sooner, simply by chewing some gum.
Authors of the study said that these results show that chewing gum is actually a cheap and easy method for new mothers to kickstart their gut to normal working order and feel more comfortable, sooner.
The study of 3,041 women, that was published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, revealed that chewing gum for about 30 minutes three times a day straight after a caesarean delivery until they pass wind will help markedly with early recovery of bowel issues.
So oh pregnant one – include a pack of chewing gum in your hospital bag right now; it might just be that unlikely, but greatly appreciated blessing.