Reasons for shaving before delivery
Pregnancy labor shave of the perineum before delivery is usually a topic for debate. Before delivering, your doctor might suggest you undergo a perineal haircut. This helps them undertake procedures efficiently and keep the area clean.
Your doctor might opt to shave you because of the following reasons:
- Surgical incision. Shaving might be done if the pubic hair is interfering with a surgical incision. Your doctor might need a clearer view of where to perform a perfect incision without causing any injury to you.
- C-section. If you might be scheduled for a C-section, your nurse might shave off your pubic hair on a selected area. Your nurse or doctor might need to shave off a couple of inches of your hair during this procedure to avoid any risk of infection to your hair follicles.
- Hygiene. Some women might experience postpartum bleeding after childbirth. It’s normal to bleed after delivery because your uterus is trying to clean itself and remove any leftover placenta from your body. If you have long pubic hair, maintaining your hygiene might be difficult during this stage. Therefore, doctors may opt to save you the trouble and shave you before delivery.
Disadvantages of shaving before delivery
Some of the disadvantages of shaving before delivery include:
- Maternal embarrassment. Shaving before delivery might make you uncomfortable. Shaving pubic hair is primarily a private matter for most women. It’s normal if you feel uncomfortable during the process.
- Infection. When your doctor uses a razor to shave your perineum, tiny cuts might accidentally develop. Tiny cuts might lead to the build-up of microorganisms that may later become an infection.
- Discomfort during hair regrowth. It’s common for women to dislike shaving, especially on their perineum. Hair growth after a shave in this area is uncomfortable because of the possibility of ingrown hairs.
Side effects of shaving
Shaving the perineum may cause some of these side effects on your body:
- Skin irritation
- Multiple superficial skin tears
- Burning sensation on the vulva
What you need to know
It’s understandable if you’ve heard or read the information that advises you to shave before delivery. In previous years, traditional childbirth recommended hair removal on the pubic area before delivery.
However, modern childbirth finds that it’s not necessary to shave your pubic hair before delivery. Clinical research shows that shaving or not shaving pubic hair doesn’t necessarily affect birth. Also, shaving doesn’t affect the risk of infection on the perineal tears.
Tips to help you before delivery
Remember you’re advised to avoid shaving a week to your delivery or Caesarean birth date.
Don’t be embarrassed if you haven't shaved. It’s acceptable not to shave before delivery. Don't worry. Most doctors and nurses rarely notice. They’re busy ensuring you and your baby are safe.
Avoid razor shaving. If you remove pubic hair yourself, consider other hair removal methods first before razor shaving. The chances of you cutting yourself are high. The cuts increase the risk of infection during delivery. Nurses often opt to clip your hair if the need arises.
Stay calm. If your doctor decides to shave you during delivery, try to remain calm. It reduces the chances of getting an accidental cut.
Hair removal alternatives. There are other hair removal methods you can try at home if you’re uncomfortable with the thought of being shaved at the hospital. These methods include waxing and sugaring, electric shavers, and hair removal creams. You may use these methods to remove hair on your pubic region.
- Waxing and sugaring. You may use this method to remove pubic hair. It’s a less harmful method since it can rarely cause micro-cuts on your skin. To wax, you might need help from a professional.
- Electric shavers. You may use electric shavers for your pubic hair throughout the pregnancy to maintain tidiness.
- Hair removal creams. If you’ve used hair creams before, you may opt to continue using them even during pregnancy. Remember, your skin might get overly sensitive even if you’ve used these hair removal chemicals before. Take caution when trying out new products.