New Brazilian figures reveal that more than 50 per cent of women in the South American country are opting to give birth by caesarean section.
The World Heath Organisation recommends that no more than 15 to 20 per cent of births are by caesarean and the UK rate of c-sections currently stands at 25 per cent of all births, according to the National Childbirth Trust.
So why is the rate in Brazil so high?
The country’s National Health Agency revealed that 84 per cent of caesareans are done at private hospitals where it’s paid for on health insurance.
Experts reckon that this staggeringly high figure is the result of Brazilian women fearing for their sex lives after having a natural birth.
“The Brazilian woman is concerned with her sexuality and fears that giving birth [naturally] will alter the perineum, which is a myth,” said Vera Fonseca, director of the Brazilian Federation of Gynecological Associations.
We spoke to Sex and Relationships Expert Dr Pam Spurr (@drpamspurr on Twitter) who told us that actually a natural birth is much safer than opting for a non-emergency caesarean.
“It’s sad that Brazilian women are opting for caesareans in the mistaken belief it will protect their sex lives,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle.
“As with any operation, there are always risks and a natural birth (with pain relief as necessary) is far preferable.
“It’s incredible how this sort of attitude can quickly spread.”
Dr Spurr told us that the chance of women damaging their perineum is actually very slim.
“Of course women might worry about tearing their perineum, with a very small chance of causing a little nerve damage,” she said.
And in terms of a desire for sex, she said that women are more likely to get their sex life back after a natural birth, as a caesarean can be exhausting for a new mum.
“Women have been giving birth forever and going on to have more children which is a sure-fire sign that their sex life’s still intact,” she said.
“Taking this more natural view of childbirth will have positive benefits including feeling desire sooner.
“Also, the anaesthetic required for a caesarean can really knock the energy out of some women.”
A natural birth does not get in the way of an active sex life and women need to start believing that as truth – rather than the other way round, she said.
“What’s crucial is women stop seeing a natural-as-possible birth as something that’ll have a negative impact on their sex life,” she said.
“That’s in their head rather than being a truth.
“Unless of course they need a caesarean for medical reasons, women should feel confident that they can have a hot sex life, post-birth, when they feel ready.”
She offered us her top tips for getting your sex life back on track after having a baby.
1) Keep communication open with your partner so you both feel free to talk about things such as sexual desire returning. Don’t make such chats a no-go conversation area.
2) While adjusting to parenthood, and before your desire returns, keep crucial physical contact going through cuddles, handholding, kisses and other affectionate gestures.
3) Even if you can only carve out 15 minutes each evening for each other, make sure it’s focused on you as a couple.
4) Feel free to ‘ban baby talk’ and talk about each other, how you’re both feeling, how your partner’s day was, and future plans. Just because you’re parents, it doesn’t mean everything has to focus around talking about your baby.
5) Restart the flirting with each other through text messages and phone calls during the day.
6) Get the grandparents or trusted friends over to babysit even if you just go for a romantic walk or a drink at an atmospheric pub, etc.
Did you struggle to get your sex life back after giving birth? Let us know in the comments.