We’ve been kind of obsessed with France on parenting.com lately, both pining for and feeling defensive about the French way of parenting. But now there’s a whole new reason to be fascinated by the French Republic. In addition to the ample maternity leave, home nurse visits, and government-subsidized preschool, women who give birth in France get another benefit: postpartum vaginal assessment and strengthening.
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Slate writer Claire Lundberg lives in France, and recently gave birth there. Soon afterward, she discovered her follow-up care included “perineal re-education,” aka vajayjay rehab. She was asked frank and exhaustive questions about the state of things below the belt, and then prescribed a variety of somewhat intimate therapies, both manual and biofeedback. Although she admitted the whole experience frequently sent her into embarrassed giggles, she appreciated that the state cares that you have a comfortable post-baby sex life, as well as the ability to sneeze without peeing yourself. Contrast this with the US, where you only found out if what’s going on down there is normal if you dare to ask at your one postpartum check-up.
Plus: How I Learned to Love My Postpartum Body
Would you have tried this therapy had it been offered to you? Were you left with some, um, issues down there after birth?