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The exciting or dreaded six-week postpartum appointment (depending on how you look at it) is usually the time when you’re given the green light for sex again. Once the doctor tells you and your partner that it’s safe to be intimate, you might immediately feel nervous since so much has changed with your body.
Whether you had a vaginal delivery or a C-section, things are still different . . . down there, and sex will be different too. While it may be a little uncomfortable, sex shouldn’t hurt. Urologist Dana Rice, MD and owner of UTI Tracker, says, “Uncomfortable intercourse can lead to vaginal and urethral irritation, which can mimic UTI symptoms, which is the last thing any new mom needs.”
Your previous go-to position may not feel so great, and something you never thought about trying may be your new favorite, so have patience with yourself and your partner when working it all out. And keep in mind that some women find sex even more pleasurable after having a baby. Katy Zvolerin, spokesperson for licensed marriage and sex therapist Dr. Kat, says, “Many women report that they are more orgasmic after childbirth than before.” So, have some fun trying the following positions to see if you’re one of those women!
1. Female on Top
This position allows the woman more control, Katy explains. “The female-on-top position is a great way to get back in the saddle, so to speak, since the new mom can control the speed and depth of penetration. For women who’ve had a C-section, this position can also help protect the scar and alleviate pressure. Try facing your partner or facing away to see which feels best, as everyone is different.”
Katy says spooning “is an excellent choice for women who want to take things slow and easy in the beginning” and that many women say this position is the most comfortable for them after giving birth. Side-lying also takes pressure off the lower back and helps stay away from any C-section scarring.
Don’t discount the reliable missionary position. If you take it slow by starting with this tried-and-true position, you’ll be able to see what areas feel good and which may be uncomfortable. Putting a pillow under your lower back or bottom may make this position even more comfortable, as the pelvic tilt that occurs may pull on a C-section scar or put stress on the lower back.
4. On a Chair
Sometimes staying out of the bed may offer more comfortable positioning, especially when your partner sits in a sturdy chair and you are on top, once again being able to control depth and speed. “It’s important to keep in mind that changes in hormones after childbirth can cause vaginal dryness, so a water-based lubricant can help make things easier too,” Katy continued.
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5. Partner Standing
If you lie on your back and scoot to the edge of the bed until just your torso and upper body are on the bed, your partner can stand and hold your legs up. This position also helps take the pressure off your lower back.
Again, always be sure to communicate with your partner about how things feel to get the most out of this seemingly new experience after childbirth.