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YOU have just had a baby by Caesarean section and you want to know when to resume your sex life. According to John Muzuzwini, a gynaecologist in East London, you need to take time before having sex.
Muzuzwini says that many women assume that since they did not have a vaginal birth, they can have sex straight away.
"This is not true. After a Caesarean birth you still need to wait about six weeks, until you've seen your midwife or doctor postpartum, who want to ensure that the incision is healing well and that the bleeding has stopped. You really need to heal from the birth as well as from the surgery," Muzuzwini says.
He says that bleeding comes from the uterus, where the placenta was located. All mothers bleed, regardless of how they gave birth.
He adds that recovery after a Caesarean birth can take longer than a vaginal birth. There may also be an infection, which is why you will be advised to take antibiotics.
Muzuzwini says the body needs this break to recover because pregnancy and giving birth impose great stress and many women feel that sex after pregnancy is more of a psychological than physiological problem. It is particularly hard on women who had Caesarian births.
He advises women to consult their childbirth professionals for advice about time frames. He says even after the time frame, couples need to be inventive with sexual positions, to prevent pain or pressure on the wound area.
Tips on building intimacy when you can't have sex:
l Cuddle, talk, kiss, hold hands and just be as affectionate towards each other as possible.