We would be lost without that emergency packet of chewing gum in our handbag – it’s an (almost!) sinless treat, it freshens our breath, and it provides a little distraction when we need it.

 

Scientists have just figured out another really helpful use for chewing gum, however: it could help mums to recover after undergoing a C-section!

 

That’s right; experts have suggested that C-section mums chew gum three times a day, every day, for 30 minutes at a time. According to their research, this simple practise can actually help to restore your gut function to its previous levels after the invasive operation.

 

So, what’s the science behind this fascinating new nugget of wisdom? Here goes! According to the research, from a team at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, one-in-five women experience a condition known as postoperative ileus after their C-section.

 

Postoperative ileus is an intolerance caused by a disruption to the normal activity of the gastrointestinal tract. This is typically brought on by an invasive surgery to the abdomen.

 

 

As part of the treatment for this, women need to eat – but this isn’t always the most enticing prospect after such a major surgery. Enter chewing gum, which tricks the body into thinking that it’s eating, and kicks the gut into gear.

 

How did the researchers come to this conclusion? According to the study report, in the Journal of Maternal-Foetal and Neonatal Medicine, the team asked one important question: how long did it take for the new mum to break wind.

 

Breaking wind is one of the biggest signs that a person’s gut is in good working order, so the team analysed data from 17 studies to figure out how long it took for each mum to break wind after her C-section.

 

The results were fascinating: the mums who chewed gum after their C-section broke wind around six-and-a-half hours sooner than those who didn’t indulge in the minty-fresh treat; 23 hours, in comparison to 29-and-a-half.

 

The research suggests that chewing gum after your C-section could seriously help to get your gut back in good working order. It’s definitely worth a try!

 

So, what do you think, mums – was this a secret nugget of wisdom you were already au-fait with, or is it something you will be trying out today? Let us know!

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