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Coping With Post-Cesarean Gas Pains

Intense gas pains are a common complaint after a cesarean, says obstetrician Lisa Masterson, M.D., of Santa Monica, CA. When the intestines are shifted, they can twist, trapping gas in the process. Anesthesia and painkillers also aggravate the problem.

To reduce discomfort:

  • Walk around your hospital room about 12 to 24 hours after surgery, to get your digestive system moving. (If possible, lean on someone: Those first steps can be painful.)
  • Don't ingest large quantities of food or drink during the first 12 to 24 hours, even if you're tempted. Take small sips of water (which won't irritate your bowels) or suck on ice chips. Start by eating easily digestible things -- broth or Jell-O are good picks.
  • Ask your doctor for an antacid or a mild laxative.