Vive La French Perineal Re-Education!

France has it right when it comes to treating the pelvic floor of postpartum women.

On Monday, The New York Times published an article, ?The Re-Education of My Perineum.?? In it, author Ruth Foxe Blader tells the story of her experience in France after giving birth.? As she tells it, her experience in France is close to ideal.? Her physical therapist, Aude, handles the reality of pelvic rehab with the professionalism that is needed:

?Aude politely suggested that I insert the sonde, a tampon-like metal-and-plastic contraption with a long wire she would hook up to the computer. When I flinched, she reiterated the importance of perineal re-education. She delivered this practiced discourse with an air of utter professionalism, flicking through computer exercises with a mouse, her back pin straight. Thankfully. Because had she so much as cracked a smile, I wouldn?t have survived the ensuing psychic trauma.?

Physical therapists play a key role in pelvic rehabilitation.? More often than not, ignoring the role of a therapist in treatment can cause more problems for a patient in the long run.

Blader puts the significance of the therapist brilliantly: ?Four years later, I can say with confidence that the exercises, far more extensive than the standard Kegels that American gynecologists mention offhandedly, worked. Unlike in the United States, where a hypermedicalized pregnancy is followed by a perfunctory six-week follow-up, in France women aren?t left treading water in a sea of untold postnatal soreness.?

Considering Beyond Kegels was published more than fifteen years ago, it is amazing that there is a persistent attitude that pelvic rehab professionals are just Kegel doctors.

Herman & Wallace offers a series on treating pregnant and postpartum patients, a time at which injury to the pelvic floor is common.? Care of the Pregnant Patient, Care of the Postpartum Patient, and Peripartum Special Topics each focus on the special considerations a therapist must have for patients during these distinct times surrounding motherhood.

For those interested in learning more about treating this population, each of these courses has at least one course-event between the now and the end of the year.? Sign up today!

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