Should You Shave Pubic Hair during Delivery- Yes or No?

Pregnancy is a major turn in any women’s life. Maintaining proper hygiene is a must. Even during delivery extreme care is taken in order to avoid any kind of infections. Whether it is normal delivery or cesarean, body parts can get infected. Pubic hair is cleared during delivery in many hospitals.

The longer, coarser and heavier hair located around and on the sex organs, at times in the inner thighs, present in the front part of genital of adult and adolescent humans, is the pubic hair. It is found in the in the pubic region nearby pubic bone. It is not necessary that pubic hair is always thick and dense in all people. People have different pubic hair; the hair may vary in color, texture and length from person to person.

Sparse to dense, short to long, curly to straight, the natural pubic hair is of different types in women around the world.  Women with straight hair may have curly and wavy public hair. Some may have hair texture that varies from full straight to tightly curl. The color is also not necessary to resemble that of the person’s hair but it may resemble the color of the eyebrows.

Should You Shave Pubic Hair during Delivery- Yes or No? Pubic hair is a matter of privacy. Normally, women who are first time pregnant are more tensed as their due date gets near. Some women who never shave their pubic hair are worried, while others, who do it regularly, don’t mind. Many women find it unnecessary to clear their pubic hair during delivery but some know how important it is. Clearing of pubic hair dates long back in history. People clear the area according to their beliefs and culture. In some religion clearing the area is strictly prohibited and only trimming is allowed, whereas in some, there are no restrictions at all.

Why is shaving pubic hair a necessity?
Almost all hospitals recommend shaving the area before delivery since many years due to the following reasons:

Hygiene purpose:
According to the mid-wives and doctors, it is always useful to shave the vaginal part before coming to the hospital for delivery. The area remains clean and tidy which avoids future infections to both the mother and the baby. If the area remains unshaven, there are chances of the mother getting infected as well as the baby. So, to maintain proper hygiene, women shave their pubic hair. Women may find it difficult to shave their pubic hair themselves. It is not necessary that you need to shave the area at your home; you can get it done after you are admitted to the hospital. There are nurses who clean it before taking you to the labor room.

Avoid embarrassment:
Some women find it embarrassing to show their genitals, with hair all around, to the doctors and mid wives. In order to avoid any kind of awkwardness, they prefer shaving the pubic hair before coming to the labor room. Mainly women with high customs and values are uncomfortable. They start worrying as soon as the due date gets near, and also the area with the hair is troublesome to them. If you are one among them, clean the area before consulting any one.

Helpful for doctors:
In many cases the doctors need to cut and stitch the perineum. At times the baby in normal delivery is stuck and doctors find it difficult to pull the baby, a small operation is carried for safe delivery. Only a small cut is made and the baby is pulled out. In such cases, if the pubic hair isn’t present, it becomes easier for the doctors to carry their work.

Safe during cesarean delivery:
During caesarean delivery the lower part of the body is cut for pulling the baby out. In many women, the pubic hair is present in that area as well. There are chances of the hair disturbing the doctors while operating and stitching. So, they prefer a clean and shaven area to avoid any kind of nuisance during the surgery.

Maternal infections:
In order to avoid infections that may cause due to the presence of the hair, pubic hair is shaven. Any infection that is caused to the mother may transfer to the new born and can be painful and dangerous for both the soul. So it is better to shave off the pubic hair. Taking any kind of risk at that point can be regretting later.

Arguments as to why you must not shave the pubic hair
There are women who think having pubic hair is hygienic. According to them, there are many benefits of not shaving the hair during the delivery process. The reasons are:

No medical fact
Earlier, when there were no doctors and babies were delivered home, elders never advised to clean the pubic hair. There is absolutely no medical fact to prove that cleaning the pubic hair is hygienic. Women believe that it is just an opinion of the doctors and they have no medical history to prove the benefits of shaving. Properly cleaning the pubic hair can also avoid infections. Simply washing the area with disinfectant can remove germs and bacteria.

Private event
According to some women, childbirth is a personal process. Women should not get embarrassed by such activity. It is the daily routine of the doctors to deliver babies. They are not there to show it to the world and there is no need to feel awkward for having pubic hair. Just because of your embarrassment you cannot avoid the benefits of not shaving the hair. When you are not embarrassed to show your genitals to the doctors, why ashamed of pubic hair?

Discomfort
The pubic hair growth is a natural process. After delivery when you recover from the process, the re-growth of the hair is very painful with extreme itching. Having the hair grow back is very uncomfortable when you are healing. If you are cesarean, the prickly hair growth causes very pain, after the stitches are cut.  Plus, itching if scratched personally with fingers, invites more germs. This is undoubtedly more unhygienic than any other thing. To avoid this it is better to let the hair stay in its place.

Protection from UTI
UTI is urinary tract infection that is easily caused during and after pregnancy due to the shaven pubic hair. Pubic hair protects germs from getting inside the urinary tract. After pregnancy when it is shaven, the pathogenic bacteria and dust particles easily get inside the body causing urinary infection in 90% women. The hair follicles also get inflamed and irritated, leaving minute open wounds. Infections of any kind can be dangerous and when it is UTI, it can spread to the kidneys causing much pain and uneasiness.

Control body temperature
Pubic hair helps to maintain body temperature. The pubic hair follicles release oils onto the pubic hair which covers the skin surface. As the oil evaporates, the skin cools down. It also helps to control the blood pressure increase, which is very common during pregnancy. The excess sweat is also controlled by the presence of pubic hair.

If you are concerned about shaving your pubic hair before delivery, you can:

Talk to your mid-wife:
A small chat with your mid-wife or doctor can ease your tension of pubic hair removal. By telling your concerns, you may get to know their reasons for shaving off the hair before delivery. They shall be your true guide and help you with any difficulties.

Talk to your relatives or close friends:
Your relatives and friends are always there to help you. Reach out to them and ask them to share their experiences. Talk to them about your worries and they shall help solve your concerns and relax your mood. They might have also been through the process and shall tell you about anything that should be taken care of.

Talk to pregnant ladies:
You can even discuss your feelings with fellow pregnant ladies by joining online forums. Many pregnant ladies join these forums to share their views and experiences. Talking to one like yourself can boost up your energy level and help you take correct decision.

Ask for help:
You can take help of your spouse, sister or mom to shave the area before delivery, if you don’t want it to be done by nurses in the hospital.

Tips to be taken care of while shaving your pubic hair
Lastly, if you have decided to shave your pubic hair, you need to keep track of certain things. Being alert is very important or else you may be sorry at the end. Whoever carries on the shaving process, few tips are necessary:

Do not panic ahead:
You should not panic and get yourself stressed by spending nights thinking about the removal of pubic hair and its’ outcomes. Be it normal birth or cesarean, removal of pubic hair is a minor thing. Worrying about it shall only cause pressure to you. Just calm and relax to release the anxiety. Whatever the doctors decide it shall be good for you and do you no harm.

Use a fresh and sterilized razor:
There are chances that the nurse performing the shaving process may use an unsterilized razor. Although such chances are very rare, in order to avoid any confusion, you can ask your nurse to open the fresh razor back in front of your eyes. Even if you are performing the process at home, be sure to use a fresh and sterilized pack. Safety is necessary.  Precautions should be taken. Ignorance can cause harm.

Avoid any cuts:
You need to inform your nurse, midwife or any one shaving, about any discomfort you feel through the process. If the person is being rough at any time, it may hurt you and cause cuts. This cut can be tainted. It can later cause infections to you. To avoid such things, be comfortable and ask them to carry the process with utmost care.

Don’t get embarrassed:
You should not be embarrassed of the shaven hair of your pubic area. Doctors and mid-wives see manypregnant ladies. It is their regular work. The whole world is not going to know about your private parts. There is nothing to worry or feel awkward about the hair removal. Removal of pubic hair is a standard procedure.  Getting embarrassed shall cause unnecessary stress which is not good for you and your baby.

Still if you don’t find it comfortable, you can consult your doctor or mid-wife about trimming or clipping the hair. Although, the doctors shall advise only what is convenient for them, as, they are the one who shall bring your baby to the world. They need to be more comfortable in the labor room than you. They will only do what is best for you and your baby. If shaving is necessary, you have no choice. You will have to listen to them and follow accordingly.

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