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Not-so Private Parts: Should You Shave or Wax Before Birth?

shaving or waxing for childbirth
If you’re currently pregnant, have been pregnant previously or thinking about getting pregnant in the future, chances are you have wondered about this. Given the incredibly personal nature of this topic, though, you most likely didn’t talk about it with anyone. Maybe your sister or a very, very close girlfriend who has given birth. Most likely, though, you’ve google searched it… in private or incognito mode. (I know I did.)

Why is this something pregnant women worry about?

Society pressures: Women’s body hair is a much debated subject. Regardless of how we feel about it, most media images of women are hairless.

History: Just a few years back ago, in 80s and 90s, it was standard procedure for maternity nurses to shave women in labor.

Myths of Cleanliness: Less pubic hair is perceived as cleaner. The research tells us there is no evidence that shaved pubic areas lead to less infection.

Performance Anxiety: Birth is one of the few times our pubic areas will have an audience! It’s natural for women to be nervous about how this part of our body will look to others.

Postpartum Bleeding: The heavy flow of blood – lochia – after giving birth is another factor.

As doulas, I can 100% assure you that no one – nurse, midwife, obstetrician, partner, doula, photographer, whomever – at your baby’s birth is thinking about your pubic hair or lack of it.

We’re thinking about how amazing you are. We’re in awe of your ability to dig deep into yourself and summon the energy, strength and determination to birth your baby. We’re focused on helping you to achieve your goals – positive, respected experiences and happy, healthy mother and baby.

Yet the question remains – should you shave/wax/trim your pubic hair before giving birth?

Keep doing whatever you did before you became pregnant.

If you like going every month for your wax, keep doing that. (With the advance knowledge that as you get closer and closer to your due date, your labial region is going to become more swollen and sensitive.) If you prefer shaving, keep doing that. (With the advance knowledge of above, plus the information that shaving introduces tiny micro-cuts on your skin where bacteria can enter. Proceed with caution.) If natural hair is your choice, please don’t feel you have to remove hair because your medical care providers prefer or require this. They don’t.

Do whatever makes YOU the most comfortable.

About Amy Lewis

Amy is the co-owner of Buddha Belly. She is passionate about assisting women through life's most challenging transitions and nurtures a lifelong commitment to women in serving mothers as a doula.

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