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Do I need to remove pubic hair before giving birth? Here’s the lowdown

Are you wondering what to do with the short and curlies before giving birth? Should you shave, wax or just leave the garden be? We’ve got all the answers below. Read on…

Do I need to remove pubic hair before giving birth?

In short, the answer is no. It is not *necessary* to remove your pubic hair before giving birth. The decision to de-fluff is an entirely personal preference and will not affect the process of giving birth.

What does the NHS advise about removing pubic hair?

The NHS doesn’t have a specific policy or guideline about removing pubic hair prior to giving birth, either vaginally or via C-section. The decision to remove hair prior to birth is totally up to you. That being said, there are some circumstances where the presence of pubic hair could make things a tad more uncomfortable, especially in the recovery stages.

Vaginal birth and pubic hair

Firstly, a quick recap about vaginal births. There is a pretty high chance that you might need stitches after a vaginal birth. This will either be due to an episiotomy or a perineal tear. In theory, the presence of pubic hair shouldn’t impact how you heal from an episiotomy or tear. However, in reality the perineum can be very sore and swollen after a vaginal delivery, particularly when stitches are required.

During recovery, you may find it really uncomfortable if pubic hair comes into contact with the wound area. In order to avoid this problem, it may be helpful to trim, wax or shave pubic hair to reduce discomfort or irritation.

C-section birth and pubic hair

The decision about pubic hair removal for C-Section mamas is a bit different. It’s not as routine for hair to be shaved before surgery, however shaving the area will be advised by the surgeon if the hair is likely to interfere with the incision. So if you want to avoid any risk of being shaved before a planned or emergency C-Section, you might want to take action yourself.

The other thing to note is that the bandaging that is placed over and around the incision is very big and very sticky. There is therefore a strong chance the bandage may cover some of the pubic hair. To that end, it may be more comfortable to remove or trim the lady garden before birth in order to limit the pain when the bandages are removed.

When should I wax / shave / remove my pubic hair?

If you do decide to go down the removal route, try to do it well ahead of when you give birth. If you’re shaving, try to do shave at least seven days before baby is due to avoid the risk of infection. If you’re opting to wax, you can have this done as early as 4-6 weeks before birth as the hair regrowth will take much longer.

Top tips

If you do opt to remove your pubic hair, here are a few tips to ensure things go smoothly and you reduce the chances of infection:

  • Ensure that any equipment used is sterilised and clean.
  • Your skin might be more sensitive during pregnancy and so you may experience more pain and redness.
  • If waxing, try to avoid a do-it-yourself job and call in a reputable professional.
  • If shaving, use a cream or gel to make the process smoother.

Your bush, your choice

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what would make you feel more comfortable. One thing’s for sure – bush or no bush – your midwife or surgeon won’t be phased by whatever you’re rocking down there. The most important thing is to focus on preparing for a safe and healthy birth, and to make choices that make you feel comfortable and confident during this important time in your life.

If you do have any concerns, speak with your midwife or medical team in advance and remember there’s no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to giving birth.


Birthbabe does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The resources on our website are provided for informational purposes only. You should always consult with a healthcare professional regarding any medical diagnoses or treatment options.

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