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French moms have a pretty good deal when it comes to parenting -- four months of maternity leave, child care stipends, free nursery school. Maybe all this government-sponsored support explains why French kids are apparently better behaved. But we recently saw an article from Slate about another French postpartum perk that we hadn't heard of before.
After delivery, the French government pays to give new moms up to 20 sessions of physical therapy to help them strengthen their pelvic floor muscles and tone their vagina. Wow. Vive la France!
During this rééducation périnéale, a new mom does exercises such as squeezing a therapist's two fingers with her va-jay-jay or playing down-there video games using a dildo-like gadget which monitors vaginal muscle contractions and displays them on a computer screen.
Here in the U.S., we're all told to do our Kegels after we have a baby, but that almost always goes out the window with eight hours of sleep, flossing and shaving your legs once the baby arrives.
The therapy isn't just about getting your body back into shape for sex. (Of course, now we have greater insight into the story about the French woman who sued her husband for not getting enough.) Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can help reduce rates of incontinence and pelvic pain and prepare your body for the next baby you pop out, according to Slate. Plus, just think of all the jumping jacks, hysterical laughter and sneezing we'd be able to do with reckless abandon if we had this program here.