To compare the efficacy of three postoperative feeding regimens on bowel function recovery after term elective cesarean section (CS).Methods:
Women recruited for this randomized trial were allocated into three groups. Women in group (A) were instructed to chew sugarless gum for 10 min every 2 h after surgery. Group (B) mothers received IV fluids for 6 h followed by sipping fruit juices sweetened with honey. Group (C) had oral intake of clear fluids after passage of flatus and regular diet with the passage of bowel movement. The main outcome measures were the timing of first return to bowel movement and initiation of regular diet.Results:
The mean times to first hearing of bowel sounds, to first flatus passage and to first defecation were significantly lower in group A (10, 17.5 and 28.1 h, respectively) compared to groups B and C [15.1, 24.9 and 36 h (B) and 21.6, 38.8 and 49.4 h (C)]. Initiation of regular diet was significantly earlier in group A compared to groups B and C (21 vs. 27.5 and 40.3 h, respectively).Conclusion:
Chewing gum appears to be more advantageous than early or traditional feeding regimens after term elective CS resulting in rapid recovery of bowel function.