Intimacy After a Cesarean
What you need to know about being intimate with your partner after a C-Section...
You knew giving birth would change your life in more ways than just your sleeping schedule. And though you both might be a little sleep deprived, chances are you feel more connected with your partner after seeing the little bundle of joy you brought into the world.
But while you feel emotionally closer than ever, it’s important to listen to your body after a c-section (or Cesarean) to help you decide whether or not you’re ready for some quality time with your partner between-the-sheets.
Here’s what you need to know about intimacy after Cesarean.
Your Body Needs Time to Heal
Your doctor will most likely recommend you wait four to six weeks to heal before being intimate. Surgery incisions need at least that long to heal properly, and your cervix needs to close and return to normal.
In addition, your uterine lining is susceptible to infection during the healing process, which is another reason it’s wise to hold off on intimacy. Getting physical too soon could rupture stitches and delay your healing process even longer.
Communicate with your partner about how you’re feeling, and slowly ease back into intimacy on your own timetable!
Don’t Obsess About Timelines
Though your doctor will recommend a timeline for when you can be intimate again, you might not feel ready after four to six weeks, or perhaps not for months. Every woman is different, and that’s perfectly okay. Communicate with your partner about how you’re feeling, and slowly ease back into intimacy on your own timetable.
Discuss Postpartum Birth Control Methods
Even though you just had a baby (not to mention a major surgery), you can still get pregnant. In fact, since you ovulate two weeks before your period, you can get pregnant even before your first postpartum period. You can also get pregnant while breastfeeding. So unless you and your partner want to have another baby, talk to your doctor about the birth control you should be using now.
Your hormonal birth-control method might need to change after you’ve had a baby. Your doctor will likely prescribe a progestin-only pill if you’re breastfeeding, as it won’t affect your milk production. Some doctors suggest barrier methods, such as condoms, for postpartum birth control.
Be Clear About Your Position
Any pressure on your abdomen after a C-section can be painful; some women experience pain during sex the first few times after a Caesarian even after the prescribed wait period of six weeks. If you do feel ready, try having your partner spoon you or lie side by side during times of intimacy to reduce the risk of discomfort from abdominal pressure.
You will probably find that a water-based lubricant will also ease the way for sexual activity and make it a much smoother activity. If the thought of love-making is making you feel uneasy then perhaps a mutual intimate massage would benefit both you and your partner, rekindling that feeling of closeness without engaging in intercourse. Research some of the body’s sensual massage pressure points and invest in a product like K-Y Touch 2-in-1 Massage Crème to create a home massage parlor of your very own.
Listen to what your body is telling you, and don’t try to rush into intimacy if you don’t feel ready. If you have questions, just talk to your doctor.
- Mayo Clinic: Sex After Pregnancy
- Parents: Postpartum Birth Control
- Baby Center: Can I Start Having Sex Before My Six-Month Checkup?
About the Author
Virginia Pelley is a former senior editor at "Fit Pregnancy" and "Natural Health" magazines who has written for "Shape," "Vegetarian Times," "Details," Al Jazeera America, BUST, the "LA Weekly," and "San Francisco Bay Guardian." She lives in Brooklyn, New York.