Until my first gynaecologic check-up, I had no idea how many people would be looking at me ‘down there.’ That day as the doctor and nurses peered into me, I felt conscious and uh, bushy. For someone who was very particular about getting a regular bikini wax done, I had let it slip. Well, blame it on nausea, deep sleep and all the other side effects of early pregnancy.
Of course, it didn’t matter to my gynaecologist or the nurses. They had seen all kinds so they really didn’t care. But somehow it mattered to me. So I decided to take care of the cleaning business immediately. This regime continued right till I was ready for delivery.
Many would say it is unnecessary
And I totally respect the thought. But for various medical reasons, a lot of doctors in India will surely clean you ‘down there’ before you go in for delivery. It is done before any kind of delivery to reduce the chances of infection. There is, however, no evidence to prove this. But if it makes you feel cleaner and lesser embarrassed, you can keep your nether parts clean before D-day.
Here are some cleaning methods for ‘down there’ that you may employ
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Bikini Wax: A bikini wax might be painful for some women during pregnancy as the body is extra sensitive due to high levels of estrogen. If badly done, it may leave open pores or cause allergic reactions and infection. Hence many Ob/Gyns recommend not to wax close to the due date.
These are valid reasons and could be major deterrents in choosing this method. However, waxing the bikini line is a very effective and can keep the skin feeling smoother as opposed to a shave or using a hair-removing cream.
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What You Must Know
Unless specified by your Ob/gyn, bikini waxes are completely safe during pregnancy. Try to avoid it close to your due date and engage the services of a reputed salon and a good grooming expert. Also, do not attempt any do-it-at-home waxing procedures.
Topical Creams/Depilatories: Depilatories are very popular with a large spectrum of women. There is no pain involved and they are definitely cheaper. These can be used easily at home with the assistance of your partner.
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What you must know
A lot of people believe that the absorption of chemicals from the creams into the skin can harm the baby (just the same as hair colour or other over-the-counter creams). But there is no study to prove these claims either.
In fact, newer studies go to prove that it is not the chemicals that are a concern but the inhalation of the strong smells from them that can be irritants. It is always advisable to do a patch test before you commit to a full removal of the hair down there. To be doubly safe, get an OK from your Ob/ Gyn if you’re using this method.
Using waxing creams on your netherland when you’re sloppy with balance and have a belly to obscure your view may also be difficult. Ask your husband to help you. This may be embarrassing, but it is the safe and efficient way forward.
Shaving: This is the preferred way of doctors and midwives before preparing a woman for delivery. So if you still have full hair growth over your privates before delivery, your doctor will mostly suggest it. If you plan shave at home, do it 48 hours prior to going to the hospital (may be difficult to plan in case of a normal delivery) so that any irritants may heal in good time.
What You Must Know
Shaving is completely pain free. It is safe unless done clumsily to cause scratches and cuts. Sometimes, shaving can cause irritation or rashes. So try this once or twice before the big day. The regrowth however, can be itchy and uncomfortable.
Trimming: There are many women I know who like things natural. If you don’t prefer to go bald, you may consider trimming. This does help in feeling tidier and the risk of any ingrowths or open pores is nil.
What You Must Know
A safe and clean pair of trimming scissors must be used on pubic hair. Be very careful when using it close to the vulval area to avoid deep cuts. Some women claim that trimming makes the hair growth thicker, but it’s the safest of all the methods.
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Things you must not ignore
Some would just prefer that the midwife or nurse do it in the hospital. Talk to your doctor and discuss your concerns, if any.
Also keep in mind the following before your pre-delivery shave
- Make sure that the razor is new, sterilized and opened right in front of you
- Your area in question should be cleaned with an antiseptic solution before the job
- Request for a shaving cream or a gel to ensure a smooth and comfortable shave
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