05 Jun

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*Mothers should chew gum three times daily after procedure to keep their bowel movements healthy

When it comes to infant feeding, new parents are often told that “breast is best” for their baby’s health. A new study provides further evidence that breast-feeding can benefit mothers, too, after finding that it may help to reduce chronic pain after cesarean delivery.

Researchers found that new mothers who breast-fed their babies for at least two months after undergoing a cesarean section (C-section) were less likely to experience pain at the surgical site than those who breast-fed for under two months.

Study co-author Dr. Carmen Alicia Vargas Berenjeno, of the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Valme in Spain, and colleagues recently reported their results at the Euroanaesthesia Congress 2017, held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Current guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) state that infants should be exclusively breast-fed for the first six months of their life, in order to achieve “optimal growth, development, and health.”

The new study may help to encourage some mothers to extend their breast-feeding duration, after finding that it could help to ease pain after a C-section.
Shorter breast-feeding duration linked to prolonged chronic pain

Berenjeno and colleagues came to their findings by analyzing the data of 185 mothers who underwent a C-section between January 2015 and December 2016.In the 24 hours after their C-section, the mothers were interviewed about their levels of chronic pain at the surgical site, as well as their breast-feeding practices and the presence of anxiety during breast-feeding. Interviews were conducted again within 72 hours of C-section and at four months after.

Breast-feeding was taken up by 87 percent of the mothers, and 58 percent of these breast-fed their babies for at least two months. Around 11.4 percent of mothers reported experiencing chronic pain after C-section.

The researchers found that the rate of chronic pain was higher among mothers who breast-fed for a shorter duration. On further investigation, the team found that mothers who had a university education were at a reduced risk of experiencing chronic pain at four months after C-section.

What is more, the researchers found that more than half of breast-feeding mothers reported experiencing anxiety, which they believe might affect the risk of chronic pain.Also, a study has revealed All new mothers who have a caesarean should chew gum every day afterwards to keep their movements healthy.

This can help the one in five women who suffer from postoperative ileus – the medical term for lack of movement in the intestines after an operation.The research was published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.Philadelphia, United States (U.S.), researchers discovered that chewing gum three times a day for 30 minutes at a time can help restore normal gut function.

The condition is common after any form of stomach surgery, including C-section and is thought to be triggered by inflammation from opening the abdomen up.And while it usually spontaneously resolves within two to three days, in the meantime it can cause great discomfort with symptoms of nausea, abdominal pain and bloating and constipation.

It can also cause pulmonary complications such as pneumonia and pulmonary embolism, a delay in mobilisation and prolonged stay in the hospital.Dr. Vincenzo Berghella from the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, US and his team analysed 17 studies that looked at more than 3,000 women who had C-sections.

They looked at how long it took after the operation for a woman to pass wind – a key sign the bowels are in good working order. On average, new mothers who chewed gum after their C-section passed wind about six-and-a-half hours sooner than those who weren’t given gum.

The gum chewers released gas about 23 hours after their operation, compared to 29.5 hours for the non-chewers.Doctors usually encourage patients to eat as soon as possible following surgery to ease any potential gut problems. But, for new mothers feeling sick following a C-section, food can be rather unappealing.

The findings suggest chewing gum could be an easy and cheap way to help ease women’s discomfort and reduce lengths of hospital stays. Chewing gum works by tricking the body into thinking that the person is eating, Berghella told LiveScience.It gets saliva flowing in the mouth and can help send signals to the gut to start moving again, he explained.

Source: Guardian