Vitality

Female Body After Giving Birth: How French Women Get Their Figures Back, Recover From Pregnancy

The French have always been at the epicenter of fashion, art, and architecture. We embrace their customs and traditions, from red lipstick to wine and cheese, but there's something new moms can learn from the French too — getting fitter vaginas. French women regain their pre-pregnancy figures much faster than American women after childbirth because the government cares about their vagina, and their sex life.

In France, the government pays for physical therapy treatment, known as la rééducation périnéale to help mothers restore strength in their pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Pregnancy weakens the pelvic floor, even if women don't have a vaginal birth, according to the Mayo Clinic. During labor and birth, the pelvic floor stretches to allow the baby's head to pass out of the womb, and through the vagina. This means the nerves that connect to the pelvic floor muscles will also be stretched. The area between the vagina and anus will feel numb or sore, making it difficult to work the pelvic floor muscles.

French women immediately rehabilitate their "lady bits" six weeks after birth with a physiotherapist for up to 20 sessions. This is intended to firm and tone the postnatal pelvic floor. French doctors are terrified of having an organ drop, which happens when a pelvic organ, such as the bladder, falls from its designated place and pushes against the walls of the vagina. This can happen to women after childbirth.

French women A woman sunbathes on a warm summer day on a private beach in Nice, France, August 31, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Eric Gaillard

With postnatal vagina re-education, doctors not only teach women about vagina recovery, they also do it. The therapist utilizes both biofeedback and “manual” muscle training to help you regain your pelvic floor strength following childbirth. Claire Lundberg, an American author, recalls her postpartum treatment in an article for Slate writing:

"But then came the aftermath of the birth. The middle part of my body had bounced back, with even better, bigger boobs!"

Vaginal exercises, like kegels, and working to re-tighten the vagina is all meant to lead to more sex and more babies for the French.

In the U.S, vaginal rejuvenation through plastic surgery is on the rise. However, this surgical reconstruction is mostly for aesthetic purposes, and doesn't focus on returning sensations or greater control to women.

So, perhaps every woman can take a cue from the French when it comes to getting fitter vaginas, and better sex lives post birth.

Loading...