Chewing gum immediately after a caesarean has been shown to assist in the mother’s recovery, new research has found.
A study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, which analysed 17 international studies, found chewing gum after surgery led to faster recovery in gastrointestinal function.
In total, the recoveries of 3014 women who’d given birth via caesarean were examined.
Those who were told to chew gum straight after delivery, and then three times a day for 30 minutes each time, had a quicker, more comfortable, recovery.
They passed their first post-birth ‘wind’ (flatus) more quickly than women who didn’t chew gum. They were quicker to experience their first bowel sounds and faster to reach their first post-birth feces.
They enjoyed less time in hospital, as well as fewer incidences of nausea and vomiting.
Their appetite returned sooner and, as could be predicted, their overall satisfaction ratings were much higher.
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Queensland obstetrician Dr Gino Pecoraro said “the prescription of two Juicy Fruit every six hours” could be a cost-efficient measure to introduce to hospitals.
“The savings to the health system of a shortened stay in hospital while waiting for bowels to work could be quite significant,” he told The Courier Mail.
“These savings could open up funding for other areas currently not adequately funded, like post-natal mental health services.”
He also suggested using the approach after other abdominal surgeries, such as hysterectomy, appendectomy and gall bladder removal.