If you're a new mom who's recovering from a C-section but also feeling frisky, you may be wondering if masturbation is an option. It's widely known that sex is off limits for at least six weeks after giving birth, whether you've delivered vaginally or via C-section, but what about self-love? Masturbation relieves stress, helps you sleep, and feels good. As a new mom you could probably use all of those things right now. So how soon can you masturbate after a C-section? It may be sooner than you think, though you'll have to proceed with caution.
"Although it is routinely recommended to abstain from all sexual activity for six weeks after delivering a baby, including via C-section, there are some forms of activity which may be safe much sooner than this lengthy time frame," OB-GYN Dr. Kyrin Dunston tells Romper in an interview. "Masturbation using direct clitoral stimulation only, without inserting anything into the vagina, can probably be safely practiced around four weeks after a C-section." (A quick anatomy lesson here, your clitoris is a group of nerve endings that are in the shape of a pearl right above your urethra. You literally need it for nothing except pleasure — that's its only function. All you have to do it is rub it to feel good vibes.)
Dana B. Myers, founder of Booty Parlor and author of The Mojo Makeover: 4 Weeks to a Sexier You, agrees with Dunston and tells Romper, "if you feel healthy and are moved to masturbate just one to two weeks after your C-section, good for you."
"There's no harm in C-spot stimulation after a belly birth, but do proceed with caution," Myers adds. If you're bleeding you'll want to take note and possibly call your doctor before masturbating. Myers also warns that if you feel any pain with external stimulation you should stop, possibly take a pause, and try something else if you're up to it.
You also have to consider the possibility of having an orgasm. Usually orgasms are a great thing, but for a healing uterus, not so much. "With orgasm comes contraction of the uterus," Dunston explains. "After a C-section the uterus, which is a big muscle, has been surgically repaired and stitched together." Basically, having an orgasm might not only be painful, but physically damaging. "The concern for the uterine contraction too soon after C-section is that the stitches may not hold the wound together and disruption will occur," she says. If you notice heavy vaginal bleeding or severe pelvic pain following an orgasm achieved by post C-section masturbation, these may be symptoms of wound disruption for which you'd need to be seen right away.
The bottom line: Dunston recommends waiting the whole six weeks before masturbating.
If you are super aroused during the wait period, she says you can go with clitoral stimulation only. Even then, however, she suggests, waiting at least four weeks post C-section. Additionally, it's recommended that you contact your doctor or midwife before engaging in any sexual activity whatsoever, including masturbation (penetrating and non-penetrating).
If you're feeling anxious about lack of sexual pleasure during your healing time, remember that it's temporary. Soon enough, when you're healed, getting a little more sleep, and on a more predictable routine with your baby, you'll get your groove back. And you'll be able to have it any way you want it.