Getting a Brazilian wax was one of the best things I did for myself before giving birth. Once I got the mangy mess that had been accumulating for nine months out of the way, it was one less thing to worry about in the delivery room.
Let me give you little background: I worked for five years as an aesthetician and then as a laser hair removal technician. I have seen the business end of more women than I care to count, and though my career choice was vastly different than that of a doctor or a midwife, I’d like to think we have at least one thing in common: We appreciate a well-groomed vagina.
I know most doctors will insist that the state of your pubic hair doesn’t matter during labor. After all, there are many more important things going on that are going to distract from your pre-birth attempt at shaving your baby’s name into your pubes (I kid, I kid). But seriously. There are plenty of labor room checks before that baby starts crowning. There are dozens of times when a doctor or nurse is going to lift up your hospital gown, and people in the nearby vicinity may be frightened by what they see.
One of my funniest memories after giving birth was when the hoopla was over. My midwife was again elbow-deep in my vag, stitching up minor tears in my labia. At that point, with a beautiful baby in my arms, I didn’t really care who saw what was going on between my legs. The deed was done. My husband had already seen my vagina contort in a way that would be burned into his brain forever, so I was fine lying there holding my baby and chatting with my legs wide open.
It was at that point that my midwife said something like, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but how did you get waxed so close? Your skin down there is so smooth. I always get razor burn or wax bumps, but you look great.”
So please, try to tell me that your doctor is not thinking about your lady parts during birth. They are, they just are. They are only human.
Besides the aesthetic appeal of trimmed hedges, there are a few legitimate benefits to waxing before birth. Talia Botone of Spa Jones says, “If you need an episiotomy or end up [with a] Caesarean section (which are done much lower now to be hidden by a bikini), the medical staff will shave you. Shaving will be itchy when it grows back in, causing extra discomfort to an already tender area. Waxing will last longer, hairs will grow in softer and fewer hairs per square inch, so there will be less activity in the re-growth of the hairs, allowing the area to heal more peacefully.”
Dr. Jason James, medical director at FemCare OB-GYN and Chairman of the Department of OB-GYN at Baptist Hospital of Miami, adds his expert opinion: “As an OB-GYN, it really is a convenience to have a patient waxed or even closely trimmed at the time of delivery. Invariably, many patients require a repair to a small tear or (rarely) an episiotomy and absence of hair makes the repair much easier. Excess hair growth can interfere with closure of the tear and can also contribute to discomfort in the healing phase.”
As with any cosmetic treatment and parenting decision, the choice is ultimately yours. All that really matters is that you feel empowered and comfortable in the delivery room, which is exactly what a pre-labor wax did for me.
No, your doctor is not judging you based on your pubic hair. No, your husband is not going to stop loving you if your beautiful baby emerges from an overgrown bush. But for me, and for many other women, getting a professional wax before going into labor was one less thing to worry about. Waxing made me feel smooth, clean and just a little more prepared for the main event. Waxing made me feel awesome before having a baby, and as the old saying goes, an awesome mom makes for an awesome baby.