Bikini Line Etiquette for Women in Labour‏

A request from an Obstetrician was made this week – to write something that she can share online and, for once, not have to read “in secret”.

‘This is going to be challenging’ I thought. I need to write something clean that she can proudly follow, without being struck off for bringing the NHS into disrepute – by being seen to support something that contains satire, filth or reference to mowing down the father of my child with a tank. Aside from that, it’s also important to me that I write on a theme that is relevant to an Obstetrician’s life, and that it’s something that meets my preference to go outside the box…

I conclude that the ‘outside of the box’ isn’t a bad idea if taken literally; I like to write about things that aren’t spoken about, and the outside of a woman’s box is very relevant when you think about this in the context of obstetrics. So my theme is decided: What is the etiquette for pubic hair styling when it comes to labour?

The Obstetrician confirmed that this is indeed a topic of useful discussion; with many women asking her advice on what they should do with their pubic hair prior to giving birth. And it just so happens that I have experience in this field and I’m in a very strong position to advise on what not to do when it comes to preparing your pubes for labour…

Having grown a chest that bulged out of a 40G bra and a waistline that landed me the nickname of ‘The Easter Egg’ during my pregnancy, I was not only unable to see my bikini line, I couldn’t even reach the thing. Aware I should do something pre-birth, in terms of hairdressing, I collared my then partner during his weekly shave and asked him if he would oblige a quick trim of my neither region, but to leave the ‘groin bits’ as I’d get them neatly waxed; mistake on two accounts.

Firstly, labour came sooner than expected and I didn’t get round to waxing the sides. Secondly he’d taken a grade one razor to the main section – rendering me the owner of a very uncool ‘reversed Mohican’ of my pubic hair. It looked like a Terry Nutkins tribute (for those born after 1980, please see picture above).

Not only did I not see the extent of the damage until after I’d given birth, but I had every complication under the sun during my labour, which meant that about 30 people had seen my artwork. I mentioned this to the Obstetrician, and she responds: “In my entire career, I’ve never seen anything that even remotely comes near to what you just described.”

I use the opportunity to move away from the shameful hair issue and relay my birthing complications – interested to know if in fact I did nearly die during labour. The conversation contains the following snippet:

Me: “…so they hit the emergency button, a team of people came running in. One doctor took one look at the blood-loss and had a sudden look of shock; I remember pleading with him to stop looking so panicked because I was scared I was going to die.

Obstetrician: “haemorrhaging it’s pretty horrific Hannah, but I can assure you that, even with several pints of blood-loss, the state of your pubic hair would have been the likely cause of his shocked face.”

If I can spare others the same pain of embarrassment, I may feel a little better. I move into journalist mode…

Me: “so what do you advise expectant mothers to do?

Obstetrician: “get rid of the lot – it makes it stitching people up easier.”

So on the good side, some light has been shed on the matter and I hope it helps others.

I shall resist the temptation to go off on a political tangent here and also interpret the title ‘bikini line etiquette for women in labour’ being the Labour Party; despite this being right up my street.

Instead, I shall leave it here, and try not to feel too much guilt over the likely number of Post Traumatic Stress cases I caused with my 2011 designer vagina.

Following = chance of book deal – please help! 🙂 I’m on Facebook here and Twitter here.    


3 thoughts on “Bikini Line Etiquette for Women in Labour‏

  1. So tired of women apologizing for not being groomed to look like prepubescent down there.
    Midwife colleagues agree it is rare now to see a woman with hair below her navel. As for shaving in case of an emergency C Section we can quickly shave a bit off top. And hair does not grow on labia or perineum. Or in side vagina. So totally rubbish re easier repairs.
    And I beg women to stop and consider postnatal these things: if shaved, regrowth is going to itch. And waxing…are you going to have time? or even prioritize a visit to beautician on a regular basis?!
    Midwives see two things women do in pregnancy…mmanicures and sometimes pedicures. And women change their hair colour / style. We encourage a global apology in Birth Suite then forever stop apologizing. …for overdue wax of legs etc and overdue pedicures….Oh and old knickers!!


  2. It’s actually advisable to leave the area alone. If a cesarean section is required then recent shaving can cause infection. Your baby will come out ether way and In my experience once my baby was here, I cared very little about how my hair was!!!


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