"Yes, of course I got a bikini wax before my due date."
By Rebecca Eckler, mother of two
Until you’re in the hospital, ready to deliver, you really have no clue just how many people will see your vagina on display during childbirth. But we moms know that so many strangers get a good look, it may as well be on a billboard in Times Square.
I got a Brazilian and a pedicure before both of my babies were born. I know obstetricians and nurses have seen every type, shape and amount of hair down there, and that no woman should be embarrassed if her lady bits aren’t neat and tidy, but I’m just so used to being groomed. If you’re someone who gets a bikini wax or a pedicure before big life events (like a wedding or a trip), wouldn’t you want to look and feel beautiful for what is most definitely one of the biggest events in your life? I can’t think of a better time to look your best.
Read more: Mom's hair removal guide>
Maybe it’s superficial. But I also felt like it was practical: In my mind, I was making life easier for the obstetrician and nurses. If I de-Chewbacca’d, at least they wouldn’t have to play hide-and-seek in a forest of hair. Plus, labour can be very messy. Why not clean yourself up a little before any damage is done?
I’ve heard fellow moms-to-be say that some doctors suggest you don’t get a bikini wax before childbirth, but my OB never mentioned it, so I didn’t feel I was breaking any rules.
Right before having a baby, many women feel at their worst. Your feet and ankles are swollen, and you’re walking like a penguin in slippers. A little bit of pampering—in the form of a pedicure and wax—can help you feel better. It reminds you that you don’t have to stop your regular beauty routine just because you’re about to be a mother.
Plus, getting a wax before your due date is simply good planning. You don’t realize how exhausted you’ll be once the baby arrives. The sleepless nights cause a weeks-long zombie-like state. You’re so out of it that if someone asks you your name, you have to think about it. You’re too tired to leave the house, let alone get to the salon (and you might not want—or be able—to leave your infant).
In the lead-up to labour, many women have no idea how things are going to go down on the big day. Feeling ready for your close-up can give you a small sense of control.
"No, I don't think waxing is important before childbirth."
By Jacqueline Parker-Court, mother of one
My very first thought when I saw two pink lines on the pregnancy test was, Am I seeing double? We’d tried so many times before without success. My second thought was, Ouch, this is going to hurt.
For the next 40 weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking of a Joan Rivers joke I’d once heard: that giving birth feels like stretching your bottom lip over your head. You know what wasn’t on my mind during pregnancy? How well groomed my private parts should be on delivery day. If anyone had even suggested a bikini wax to me, I would have snapped. After nine months of carrying around a bowling ball and a few weeks of Braxton Hicks contractions, who is crazy enough to torture herself with extra pain and discomfort? I have never felt the need to modify my natural body for the sake of being polite. Who says waxing down there is polite, anyway? (Flip through any Playboy magazine circa 1970 and you’ll see what I mean.) A fresh pedicure is pretty much as groomed as I get. At 25 weeks, I had a pedicure at one of those cheap nail places with the massage chairs that make you look like you’re doing the worm. I was already the size of a small fishing village, so I wasn’t very happy when the esthetician rolled up my pant legs and said, “Oh. Here for a leg wax, too?” Are you kidding?
I’ve also heard that waxing hurts a lot more closer to your period, due to increased levels of estrogen (which makes your skin more sensitive). Imagine that level of pain, multiplied by all the pregnancy hormones. Many OB/GYNs will tell you not to wax close to your due date because of the risk of infection, and some hospitals, mine included, prefer to do a clean shave themselves. (Free hair removal, courtesy of your medical team!)
I wasn’t concerned about what the doctors or nurses would think about my grooming choices. I was there to have a baby, and I knew there’d be more to clean up than just a bikini line. After two days of active labour and an emergency C-section, all eyes were on my beautiful daughter, not the hairiness of my nether region. So keep the hot wax away from me.
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This article appeared in our June 2014 issue with the headline, "Would you get a bikini wax before your due date?" on p. 98.