Amid the euphoria of childbirth, the congratulations, celebrations and wondrous attention heaped on this new life, one important factor is too frequently overlooked: the physical recovery of the mother.
A natural vaginal birth exerts extreme physical stress on the mother’s birth canal, yet it is generally assumed that she will recover with a little tender loving care and regular cups of tea. The truth is that the impact of childbirth leaves many women with a catalogue of lifelong problems, including slackening of the vaginal wall, dryness, inflammation, incontinence, infection, pain, and loss of sexual confidence. And it’s not just childbirth that affects women in this way. The ageing process alone brings about a natural deterioration of muscle tone in the pelvic region, while the menopause is another time of radical change in a woman’s physiology, which can take a heavy toll on the feeling and function of the vagina.