I’m having a baby – What’s the deal with my pubic hair? As a midwife this is one of the most common questions I get asked, and surprisingly one of the things people are most embarrassed and worried about. Midwife, Michelle, shares some advice on managing your pubic hair (or not) before labour.
To start off with, let me tell you that your midwife and obstetrician do not mind about what you do with your pubic hair. In fact, most of the time we don’t even notice. As professionals this is just another part of the body that we see every day and everyone’s bits down there look different – some hairy, and some not! Just remember that this is your body, your labour, and that hair was put down there for a reason – you don’t have to get rid of it if you don’t want to. There’s no impressing the people looking after you! In days gone by people did used to shave off all their pubic hair before labour, but studies have since shown that the hair can actually prevent infection so the practice is now not as popular.
Pubic hair may prevent infection
So, when your midwife does an internal examination and exclaims ‘Wow! There’s a lot of hair!’ rest assured that she is talking about what she can feel on the baby’s head, not what she can see on your nether regions!
Do what you feel comfortable with
I did a quick survey of my midwife friends and asked them what they thought best – all the answers were very similar. Do what you feel comfortable with. If you want to leave it that’s fine, maybe just give long hairs a trim for your own comfort (long hair can get in the way or get pulled when doing a vaginal examination, or if you require suturing after the birth). One midwife reported that the only time she had really noticed anything to do with pubic hair was when a patient had some vagazzling done. Yep, that’s a real thing… just like bejazzling but, well, I think you get it. Really we don’t expect you to go to that much trouble!
So what are your options if you do want to do some pubic hair landscaping?
Do what you are comfortable with and remember you have a large tummy to contend with so that region that you used to be able to see can’t be seen anymore. By all means be very careful if you are planning to take scissors or a razor to the area. If you are planning the hair removal route you can get a bikini wax or Brazilian wax but be mindful that you are more sensitive during pregnancy and waxing will hurt a bit more than usual. Shaving can be tricky and can cause infection/ingrown hairs. Be very careful if choosing this as you don’t want to end up on antibiotics due to a nasty hair removal incident leading up to your labour! Or just give it a trim and be done with it.
This topic is seriously not something to be concerned about in your pregnancy. There is nothing wrong with having pubic hair during labour, and nothing to be embarrassed about whether you have no hair or a buzz cut! Showing your private parts to people in the delivery room is always going to be awkward so just go with what feels comfortable to you, and don’t feel like you need to impress anyone. This is your day when you get to meet your special baby. Don’t let your pubic hair steal the show!!
About the author: Michelle Penn has over 10 years experience as a midwife and child & family health nurse. As well as being mum to four little ones (including two-year old twin boys), she is passionate about empowering and educating new mums with relevant and interesting information to help them with the amazing journey which is motherhood. When Michelle is not delivering babies or raising her own tribe you’ll find her running, removing small pieces of lego from the bottom of her feet, reading chick lit or escaping the grind with Candy Crush and a red Lindt ball.
Medical disclaimer: Tips provided need to be considered in conjunction with medical advice. For immediate concerns, please contact HealthDirect (Australia wide) ph 1800 022 222 – to talk to a registered nurse 24hrs a day, and in emergencies call 000.