Attributed to Tania Boler, women’s health expert and Founder and CEO of Elvie


Last month, the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) released a damning report on the impact of physical birth injuries on Aussie, NZ and UK mums. The report also pointed to a much larger issue at play — the inadequate commitment to female healthcare in Australia, and the lack of attention and resources directed towards new mothers postpartum.  Almost a third (29%) of women surveyed received a diagnosis for their birth injury two months after their birth, and many women reported medical gaslighting, whereby their symptoms were dismissed as “normal” and their complaints about pain or pressure in the vagina were downplayed or overlooked entirely.

As a women’s health expert, sadly this is a story I hear all too often. I’ve realised that many issues women face after pregnancy are often swept under the rug — one of which is how neglected pelvic floor health is after pregnancy and giving birth. This is one of the main reasons I founded Elvie. Whilst there was a massive need for innovative (and empathetic) technology to support women, I was also inspired to help bring these taboo conversations to the forefront and get women talking about their bodies openly and honestly. 

From my experience, these are the three things that we need to better support Australian mums with their physical recovery and postpartum journey.

Improved access to pelvic floor physiotherapy

A few years ago, I was spending lots of time in France with my husband’s family. I discovered that it’s normal for French women to attend pelvic floor rehabilitation classes after birth, paid for by their government, to help re-strengthen their bodies. After experiencing first-hand how pregnancy impacted this core muscle group, I was stunned that this healthcare practice wasn’t more common  in other countries. 

While the French have got it right, Australia’s healthcare system is lacking when it comes to pelvic floor physiotherapy. In Australia, pelvic floor physiotherapy can be covered by Medicare, but only if your doctor refers you with a chronic disease management plan. However, women must overcome a fair bit of red tape to receive this chronic disease status, and if successful, Medicare only covers up to five physiotherapy sessions per year. The ABTA found that more than half (56%) of the women they surveyed who had received treatment from a women’s health physiotherapist paid for it out of pocket, highlighting that the cost of physiotherapy more often than not falls entirely on postpartum women.  

With one in three women experiencing pelvic floor problems during their lifetime, more education on pelvic floor health and the benefits of training those muscles is essential for postpartum recovery. 

Better mental health support

According to the ABTA, a staggering 86% of postpartum women said their mental health has been impacted by their birth trauma, with many women reporting depression and PTSD following their birth injuries, and feeling a sense of shame and disability in their bodies. The majority of these women also reported their birth injury had affected their body confidence and self-esteem, sex life, and their relationship with their partner. 

This is why adequate support from a trained mental health therapist specialising in postpartum recovery is so important. With common yet serious illnesses such as perinatal anxiety and depression affecting around one in five new or expecting mums, it’s crucial for women to feel confident in themselves and well-equipped to navigate the challenges of motherhood. Government-funded mental health support needs to be extended, and even incorporated into postpartum health checks or “continuity of care” models.

A greater commitment to the development of femtech

Before I founded Elvie, technological innovation aimed at promoting women’s intimate health was severely lacking. This is especially true when you think about how many generations of iPhone have been developed in the past ten years. Astonishingly, there have been limited modern innovations to address women’s basic needs in the past few decades! 

Luckily, women and postpartum mums now have access to radical technology that puts women’s needs first. Devices such as kegel trainers, like the Elvie Trainer, are incredibly effective and convenient tools to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles from the comfort of your own home. Previously, this technology was only available in hospitals, but now women can receive real-time biofeedback on their pelvic floor strength, which we find is the most effective and reliable way to encourage commitment to ongoing training. 

While it’s great to see progress with tech that addresses pelvic floor weaknesses, we still have a long way to go with women’s health. Our work at Elvie encourages discussion around women’s health, shifting people’s views, and educating both women and men on important — often intimate — topics. We see this as an opportunity to drive real change to the culture at large, so that one day, talking about women’s health will be like discussing a broken leg.


For many women, the experience of giving birth can create lingering trauma — both physically and mentally. With three quarters of women saying their birth trauma has them reconsidering their decision to have another baby, it’s critically important that our maternal health systems address previous failures and work towards improving women’s health outcomes post-birth.

Tania Boler is the Founder and CEO of Elvie, a British health and lifestyle brand which develops radical female-first technology products for women to revolutionise women’s health and wellbeing.

Tania is an internationally recognised women’s health expert, passionate about improving physical and emotional well-being by leading candid conversations and building world-class products to address intimate issues faced by women on a daily basis. Tania has degrees from both Oxford and Stanford Universities, she completed a PhD in Sexual Reproductive Health, and has published extensive research and several books on the subject. She is regularly profiled in top-tier media titles and, in 2021, Tania was named GLAMOUR’s Women of the Year: Technology Gamechanger.

Before founding Elvie in 2013, Tania was the global director of research and innovation at Marie Stopes International focusing on sexual health in developing countries. In addition, Tania worked extensively in Africa promoting research into maternal and reproductive health – with a focus on HIV and teenage pregnancy – and worked with the UN to launch the first-ever curriculum on Sexuality Education.  

Elvie now has over 200 employees globally, and has been recognised with many accolades, including: TIME Magazine’s Best Invention 2021 for its most recent product release, Elvie Stride, Pump and being listed #41 in the FT 1000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in Europe 2021. Elvie recently completed its Series C funding round. Four Elvie products have won the prestigious Red Dot design awards. 

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