Trying to break the stigma around bowel problems following vaginal childbirth, Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ yesterday explored the many problems associated with this distressing occurrence.

The majority of women who give birth vaginally suffer some degree of trauma to the perineum, the region between the vagina and the anus. However, many are unaware that their symptoms are not normal and that they should seek help from their GP.

Discussing the problem with a specialist midwife in perineal trauma and two new mothers, who both also happened to be midwives, Woman’s Hour tackled a range of questions about this sometimes taboo subject:

• When are post-birth symptoms not normal?
• Why are women not getting the support they need?
• What can be done to improve support and knowledge for new mothers?

Dr Sarah Webb commented, shockingly, that in a survey of midwives and students, less than 50% felt that they had sufficient training in pelvic floor problems such as bowel and bladder problems, rectoceles and the long-term impact of perineal tears.

Such was the level of interest in the discussion that Woman’s Hour continued the discussion with further expert input this morning.

The podcasts are available on the BBC website.

Speak to a solicitor

If you are suffering debilitating, long-term and severe bowel problems following the birth of your baby, you may be helpful to talk to a specialist solicitor. If your severe tear was not diagnosed or repaired by your medical practitioners, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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