Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Why Chewing Gum Might Be Worth Packing In Your C-Section Hospital Bag

As someone who has always been terrified of operations (isn't everybody?!), I would never have believed you if you'd told me 10 years ago that I would have 3 c section births by choice - but due to my health issues, that's exactly what I did.

I remember all too well the feelings of anxiety and apprehension I had about the c-section and the post-birth recovery period, and no matter how often I google searched I never did manage to find much information on what to expect or how to prepare. So since then, I've always been determined to be as honest and open about c-section deliveries as possible. 

Although my own c section births were pretty straight forward, I did have a difficult recovery period with my second child. During that time there were certain things that made the hospital stay more comfortable post-op, things like oversized underwear and heat pads as well as arnica for aiding the healing process - but one thing I didn't think to pack was chewing gum. According to recent studies though, chewing gum could actually be something c-section patients should be using!
It's long been known that the digestive system can slow down or even shut down completely after many surgical procedures, but a study from Dr Sirivan S Seng in Pennsylvania showed that gum chewing has "many benefits in kick-starting the digestive system" - the study compared patients who had been given chewing gum post-op with those who had not, and found favourable results. 

The process of chewing gum is known to effectively "wake up" the bowels, aid in passing gas (something which can be the cause of a lot of pain post-c section), and can even prevent bowel obstruction. 

Given that chewing sugar-free gum is such an inexpensive, simple, non-invasive and enjoyable way to reduce the impact of bowel issues post-operation, it seems a very worthwhile thing to incorporate into your c-section recovery plan.

It's worth pointing out that it's not just c-sections that sugar free gum can help with, as the studies also showed impressive results following heart surgery, colorectal surgery, and hysterectomies too - reducing hospital stays and improving recovery times.

My Tips For Packing For A C-Section Birth

If you're going in to hospital for a c-section delivery soon, here is my checklist of items to bring along:

*Comfortable nightwear - preferably night gowns to avoid having waist bands which may rub on your scar

*Oversized underwear - I made sure to pack "Belly warmer" knickers and I was so glad that I did, as having anything that rubs on the scar area is going to be unpleasant

*Heat pads - can be very helpful with post-birth cramping

*Arnica tablets - to aid in healing

*Peppermint tea or peppermint capsules - to aid with digestion and gas post-surgery

*Wet wipes - to freshen up between showers

*Fragrance-free soap or shower gel 

*Hairbrush, bobble, lip balm and mirror

*Handheld USB cooling fan as wards can be hot at times

*Sugar free gum for chewing post surgery to aid with recovery

*Maternity pads & breast pads

*Items for baby - nappies, water wipes, blankets, some vests and sleep suits, and perhaps some scratch mits.

I hope this article has been helpful, and if you're having a c-section birth soon - I wish you all the best.

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