6 Sex Positions For After A C-Section To Help You Avoid Postpartum Pain
Postpartum sex can already feel like nerve-wracking new territory, but sex after a C-section? That can be doubly terrifying. You may not have pushed a baby directly out of your vagina, but you did have major surgery, and that requires a little research to figure out the best sex positions for you and your partner while you heal.
When it comes to sex after a C-section, you'll want to protect your abdomen at all costs. Even with your doctor's green light (definitely don't try any sex until your doctor says it's OK), your core may be very tender, and your scar and the area surrounding it can be sore. So, any position with your partner placing all their weight on you or your own abdomen pressed into a bed probably isn't the best idea.
“As your body is healing from a major surgery, experiment and find positions that don’t cause any abdominal or vaginal discomfort,” board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Sherry Ross, M.D., tells Romper. “Your ‘go-to’ sex positions may have to be redefined during the postpartum healing process, which can often take six to nine months.” Luckily, there are a number of safe and comfortable sex positions to try after you’ve had a C-section once your doctor gives you the go-ahead.
When Is It Safe To Have Postpartum Sex?
For the first six weeks following a C-section or birth, your doctor will have you on pelvic rest, meaning nothing goes inside the vagina. “No tampons, no douching, no baths, swimming pools, and no sex,” Ross tells Romper. “Usually at the six-week postpartum visit with your health care provider, you will be examined, birth control options are discussed, and then you will be given the green light to have sex again,” she explains. But Ross also notes that many people who just gave birth aren’t exactly holding their breath to have sex again — and it’s totally OK if you need more time. “Just because you are given the green light doesn’t mean you have to put your foot on the gas until you are ready to do so,” she says.
Unfortunately, painful intercourse is common when you’ve just started having sex again. “Between the healing C-section scar in the lower abdominal, the oversized and sore breasts that come with breastfeeding, the physical body transformation, and the emotional roller-coaster associated with the postpartum period, your comfort is a priority,” says Ross. All of that, on top of your hormones being out of whack, can contribute to a pretty low sex drive. So, even when it’s “medically safe” to have sex, your body and mind might be telling you it’s not time yet.
“My best advice is always slowly ease back into your usual routine — [it] may take up to nine months to fully heal after pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding,” Ross says. “Physically, you may be healed to start to feel sexual and get back on the saddle, but mentally you may not be.”
When you do ease back into sex with your partner, it’s also common to have side effects like vaginal irritation, burning, itching, painful urination, or dryness — which happens if you’re breastfeeding because “your vagina has less estrogen around to help naturally lubricate,” Ross explains, adding, “For some women, there isn’t a best position if the vagina is not well-lubricated, so find a lube that you and your partner enjoy.”
Once you’re at least past the six-week mark and feel ready to get back to business, you can start thinking about things in the bedroom, like which sex positions to avoid after your C-section and which might be more enjoyable. “Whatever position is comfortable for you is the one you should focus on,” Ross tells Romper. Most importantly, communicate openly and honestly with your partner so they understand exactly what you are going through as your body heals.
Sex Positions To Avoid
- Doggy style: Positions that involve deeper penetration can be uncomfortable and should be avoided.
- Traditional Missionary: Having your partner on top of you will put extra pressure on your C-section scars.
- Standing up: This position can also put a lot of pressure on your torso and is best skipped.
- Standing penetrating partner: There’s less friction on your scar if you’re laying on the edge of the bed while your partner penetrates you standing up, but there will be a lot of deep penetration, which is not recommended.
Safe Sex Positions
Everyone is different, so finding the best sex positions for after a C-section will be up to you to try and discover what works for you. Go slow, have fun, and try these gentle and safe options as you recover after bringing new life into the world.