Postpartum Sex

These sex positions after a c-section will help you avoid postpartum pain.
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6 Sex Positions For After A C-Section To Help You Avoid Postpartum Pain

Take it at your own pace.

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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

1

Sensual Spooning

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Spooning is not only intimate, it's also a great position when you're recovering from a C-section. “Lying on your side may prove to be one of the most comfortable [positions] for your healing C-section scar and uterus,” Ross says.

You can simply have your partner lay behind you as you press your backside into them, or try raising a leg in the air for plenty of g-spot stimulation. Either way, spooning leaves your SO's hands free for clitoral stimulation. There's no pressure on your abdomen or scar, and you don't have to utilize those core muscles during intercourse. Plus, it's super sexy and intimate, so you can really enjoy getting back in the saddle.

2

Reverse Cowgirl

Traditional cowgirl position can still be a little too much pressure on your scar, especially if you're pressed up against your partner's pelvis, so try putting some tweaks on it. “[Reverse cowgirl] can be a good one where you have more control and comfort,” Ross suggests. Plus, reverse cowgirl is all about you — how intense you want to go, how fast, and what kind of pressure. It's great for easing back into sex, and it will help you learn your limits.

3

Straddle The Saddle

Another way to change up an on-top position and make it more comfortable for after a C-section is to have your partner cross their legs and lean back on their arms, so you can lower yourself onto them and rest your arms on their shoulders. This offers more control without the pressure or friction on your scar area.

4

Sitting Up

If being on top feels uncomfortable to you for any reason, try having your partner meet you by sitting up — like the previous saddle position, but with your partner’s legs uncrossed and their upper body sitting up straighter. “Sitting up could be comfortable for you following a C-section,” Ross notes. Your torsos will be pressed together, but there won't be a ton of pressure, and you can control how hard you're moving against each other to protect your scar.

5

Kneeling Missionary

The traditional version of this position requires a lot of weight on your body, but with a simple missionary modification, you can turn it into a super comfortable and sexy position. “Kneeling missionary is great for that intimate connection and is comfortable,” Ross tells Romper. Have your partner kneel and sit back on their ankles, so they can lift your legs and pelvis up in order to penetrate you without any pressure or weight against your abdomen. Slip some pillows under your lower back to keep you up and make both of you comfortable.

6

Hot Hula

Another on-top position — there's obviously a pattern here, right? Ross says being on top “may be easiest for you since you can be in complete control.” What separates the Hot Hula position from regular cowgirl is how you move. You’ll be on top of your partner like any on-top position, but swivel your hips from side to side or in a circle for grinding action.

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.

Experts:

Dr. Sherry Ross, M.D., OB/GYN, women’s health expert, author of She-ology, and co-founder of URJA Intimates skin care