One of many pregnant women’s worst fears is having an episiotomy during the birthing process. And it’s not hard to understand why. Just the mere mention of the word episiotomy can make any woman clamp up down there and cringe. The cut is in a very sensitive area and the recovery can take a month or more, leaving many women to wonder when they can have sex again. Many doctors give the OK at four to six weeks, but after such a difficult procedure and child birth in general, you’ll probably want to ease back into the bedroom. The best sex positions after a difficult delivery are the ones that will minimize possible pain and prevent additional trauma.
The cut itself during childbirth isn’t usually the worst part — it’s the recovery. "At eight weeks I finally started getting out of the house but the pain was still bad when I walked too far, like around Target once," Kristina Ainsworth, a nurse and mother in Rapid City, South Dakota tells Romper during an interview. Sadly her story isn't uncommon. Some women report intense pain in their vaginal area for several weeks, even months, especially with sex, according to the women's health website UBM Medica Network.
There’s no definite timeline of when it's OK to have sex. There's no rush and no pressure. Your body just went through a lot and it's imperative that you give it time to heal. But if you think you’re ready to have sex, or at least try, here are seven sex positions to try that can help ease you back into sex, without injuring yourself.
Many women who've had episiotomies are freaked out about penetration. They might be scared to have a penis, vibrator, or even a finger in their vagina. Oral sex is a great way to gauge how much libido you have after child birth and how much you can handle. And hovering butterfly is just a fancy way of performing cunnilingus. According to Women's Health magazine, a woman is instructed to hold onto a wall or headboard for support while straddling their partner's face. You can let your partner do whatever they want, or you can control how firmly the tongue is in place and grind in whatever way feels best.
You've probably used this position before. Women's Health magazine said the main advantage with this position is that being on top helps you control exactly how deeply you are penetrated, at what angle, and how fast. You are the one who's just been through the trauma of childbirth and a surgical cut in the vagina, so you're encouraged to take control and do what feels good for you.
This is cowgirl, but facing away from your partner. The only real difference is that this one seems more unconventional. It gives the illusion that you're breaking out a sexual pony trick without actually breaking one out. It's a little bit different than typical cowgirl, and that sometimes can mean more fun. It's good to try after an episiotomy because you can lean forward or back and drive the angle of the penis inside of you, giving you control noted Women's Health magazine.
This is probably the most gentle way of easing back into sex. Even though there's not penetration, mutual masturbation can be really intimate. An article in Cosmopolitan magazine suggests that you both lay on your backs, hold your partner's hand with one hand, and pleasure yourself with the other. Side by side pleasuring could be a good start so you can figure out how much pressure you can handle down there.
5Horse On A Stick
This is a fun kama sutra position that adds a little more fun than the typical on top routine. The website Kamaday said your partner should lay down with one leg bent. You then ride their leg essentially, while being penetrated at the same time. This is good for clitoris stimulation especially if post episiotomy you can't handle much vaginal penetration.
6Face Each Other
This is a good one if you like to be up close and in the face of your partner. Women's Health instructed that you have your partner sit on the edge of the bed or a chair, while you sit on their lap and wrap your arms around their back. Once you're in position, you can move up and down however feels good to you. You're still in charge of how much pressure and stimulation you are getting.
7Whatever Feels Good To You
"Missionary style was best for us," Ainsworth says. "Anything like doggie style or laying on my side, which puts pressure on the episiotomy site, was very uncomfortable and still is to this day sometimes."
All bodies are different. What feels good to one person, may not work for another. Sex is a deeply personal act and one that is felt in different ways depending on your body and partner. It's important to honor whatever works for you, and not judge how your body is reacting to a certain position.