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Why France Pays for New Moms to Re-Educate their Vagina

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Now that I got your attention with the headline, please read through my analysis on the disparity in post partum care in the US versus other countries:) 

Home visits after childbirth by health-care professionals are provided in all northern and western European countries.

FRANCE : 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. 

Part of the standard postpartum treatment in France, which happens about two months after baby is born, is 10 to 20 sessions of what the French call la rééducation périnéale. It's like physical therapy for the vagina, and includes retraining your pelvic floor muscles, including the proper way to do Kegels. Yes, it's paid for by the French Social Security and has been in effect since 1985, and is one of the only countries to have this type of program. How amazing this sounds!


Lundberg says the reasons behind it are to help mama get her groove back (oui oui!), and the government wants you healthy so you can have another baby safely (merci!), and they believe no woman should have to suffer incontinence (c'est vrai!). Wow, they really seem to care! Viva la France!

UK : Usual postnatal care in the UK consists of six or seven home visits by a midwife during the first 10—14 days after birth (extended to 28 days if needed), occasional general practitioner (GP) home visits, health-visitor care after 28 days, and a check-up with a GP at 6—8 weeks.

NETHERLANDS :  Women with normal pregnancies can give birth at home or birth rooms, which are operated by midwives or general practitioners in a hospital. A continuous 1-week home care program covered by insurance for normal birth mothers is provided by kraamverzorgsters, who receive a 3-year training program. This postpartum home care includes care for children and mothers and housework services (De Vries, Benoit, van Teijlingen, & Wrede, 2001).(In the Netherlands, a kraamverzorgster is a versatile, trained woman who provides a family with in-home postpartum care for 1 week to 10 days. Her care includes medical checks, assistance in feeding and bathing the newborn infant, cooking, and general household duties. The mother can relax and recover, secure in the knowledge that her needs, as well as her family's needs, are taken care of.)

Norway : maternity centers established near hospitals are hotel-like environments where new mothers, newborns, and their families can stay together for postpartum care (De Vries et al., 2001).

Taiwan : New mothers can choose to stay in private maternity centers where mothers and newborns are taken care of by nurses.

China : A majority of Chinese mothers who choose to stay at home are cared for by their family members for about 1 month to prevent diseases and promote health (Lee, Yip, Leung, & Chung, 2004; Matthey, Panasetis, & Barnett, 2002).

Parental leave is another policy that facilitates maternal and children's health. In Sweden, new parents can take, at most, a 1-year leave at 80% of their salary (De Vries et al., 2001). In Finland, mothers have the chance to take a 1-year maternal leave supported by a state grant (Tarkka, Paunonen, & Laippala, 1999). Whether provided at home or a facility, postpartum care helps new mothers to recover from physical changes of pregnancy and to learn child-care skills.

In the US, new parents have just 24 hours paid for by their insurance to stay in a hospital and are not tracked by the State after they bring their baby home. I found this shocking as I received excellent care from the State in the UK where I delivered my twins. It is because of this first hand knowledge, I was determined to find qualified newborn care for new parents in the United States. 

Our , Newborn Maternity Nurse Consultant, Magdala Fabre (RN) has been delivering babies at the number one ranking hospital in NYC - Cornell and herself is a Mom to 2:) and a NYC resident:)

Magdala with her son, daughter and her husband.

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Magdala talks about newborn care, here in the US. 

Magdala is a Licensed Registered Nurse with a B.S in Nursing from SUNY Downstate Medical Center with 19 years experience working in the nursing field. For the past 10 years she has been working in Labor & Delivery and in OB/GYN Outpatient Care at the number 1 ranking hospital in NYC.

As Maternal Newborn Nurse Consultant, Magdala will provide new parents with professional in home guidance with intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn issues that may arise. For example, what to expect during labor and delivery, feeding (breast or formula), washing your baby, performing umbilical and/or circumcision care, newborn safety, etc.


For the mother, Nurse Magdala will reinforce your discarge instructions pertaining to proper diet, medication, pain management, special treatments and instructions on proper hygiene.


Her role is to provide expectant and new parents who want to be hands on when it comes to caring for their babies, but still need initial guidance and steering to build their confidence.

As a child Magdala was determined to pursue her dream and started her nursing education in high school. Later, completing her BS in Nursing with many years in the field of elderly patient care and with several years of med-surgery under her belt, Magdala was ready to embark on her journey to explore Obstetrics. She started working on the labor and delivery unit at NYP Weill Cornell in 2001 and absolutely loved her role as caregiver, coach, and educator. She assisted her patients through the labor and delivery process and during the initial phase of postpartum; helping parents bond with their newborn and instructed them on how to properly breastfeed. After 10 years of Labor and delivery, Magdala shifted gears recently and migrated to the outpatient facility where she is able to educate patients throughout their perinatal and postpartum phase, thereby formulating long term bonds with her patients through their pregnancy.


Magdala is a wife and a mother of two. And having endured two Caesarean sections, she breastfed her first born for 14 months and then, two years later, her second born for 22 months, she has been able to relate with and assist a number of patients whom expressed their difficulties with the postpartum process. Magdala is more than eager to share her knowledge and experience of nursing and the postpartum process with new mothers and their newborns to help with their uneasiness, fear, and/or doubts.

Contact us for pricing and more information.


[email protected]


Categories: Baby Nurse, Newborn Care, Maternity Nursing

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