As you enter the later part of the second trimester and early third trimester you usually feel pretty good. Nausea has subsided and you aren’t exhausted or whale like yet. As your stomach starts to grow, your legs, feet, and private parts slowly start to disappear beneath your baby bump. Figuring out how to shave while pregnant suddenly becomes a comedic event involving contortions only seen in a Cirque du Soleil act. What’s a pregnant lady to do?!
We’ve got solutions and answers to your other growing questions about hair removal during pregnancy and if it’s even necessary.
Shaving your legs while pregnant
Shaving is one of those monotonous grooming chores that we just take for granted…until you suddenly have a giant pregnant belly that prevents you from doing it! Luckily we’ve got 5 tips to help you with hair removal on your legs while pregnant.
1 – Use an arm extender
If you’re still determined to do it yourself and all your contortionist moves are no longer working you may consider a device to make your arms longer! They make these razor extenders so that you can shave without bending down.
While it may seem like a tricky task, the good news it's easy to learn, just make sure to go in the direction of hair growth to prevent ingrown leg hair.
2 – Have it waxed
Waxing is generally cosnidered a perfectly safe hair removal method: whether it's the at home wax strips or you go to a professional.
Though there are some things to consider if you don't already have a regular waxing routine:
- Your blood flow increases during pregnancy and your skin may be more sensitive meaning waxing can hurt even more than it normally would. For that reason, if you do choose to start, consider looking into hard wax, it doesn't hurt as much!
- Always test at home wax kits on a small area first (think upper thigh), before moving onto more sensitive areas like your bikini line or upper lip
- If you go to a salon, make sure they use pregnancy-friendly products and take sanitizing safety precautions seriously
Personally, I continued with my brazilian wax regularly through my entire first pregnancy and loved it! But my waxer left between baby 1 and baby 2, and the new waxer just didn't have the “touch” so I had to stop going during my second pregnancy as my skin was too sensitive.
3 – Try a cream
If you recall watching Gossip Girl in the early 00's you might remember the infamous “Nairtini” – which did lead my teen self to trying hair removal creams – and let me tell you, they hurt.
This is definitely my least favorite option. I always found stray hairs left behind and it hurt.
I can have positive unmedicated births, get my lady bits waxed without flinching, but trying to use a hair removal cream feels like chemically burning off my skin and I'm not a fan. With that I strongly encourage you test a small patch of depilatory creams on your upper outer leg to ensure you don't have an allergic reaction before covering other areas.
If your skin isn't too sensitive, it's highly effective and easy to do. I suggest opting for ones with some nourishment like vitamin e and baby oil:
According to this study, they are safe to use during pregnancy provided they DON’T CONTAIN hydroquinone or topical retinoids. I always recommend checking with your OB or midwife about the specific product you intend to use (Lord knows you see them often enough during pregnancy!)
4 – Have your husband help
My second favorite option is to ask your husband for a helping hand…provided he has steady hands. Hand him the razor and let him take care of this task for you. If this sounds too personal just wait until childbirth and postpartum!
If you’re willing to let strangers wax you or your OB do regular check-ups you should be ok with your husband helping you shave.
Don’t worry, it’s not going to ruin any mystique. There will be bigger issues with romance after childbirth than him helping to shave your legs a few times.
5 – Skip it altogether!
That’s right, you can skip shaving altogether if you want! Especially if it’s a time of year when you won’t be wearing dresses or shorts. Your doctor and nurses aren’t going to be offended by a little hair.
Ask in a large Facebook group of moms and you’ll find a lot of second-time moms and beyond respond to the question about shaving during pregnancy with exactly this answer “…just skip it!“
If you’re a first-time mom this might sound terrible and impossible but soon it will probably be the least of your worries. Heck, during the first month with a newborn you’re lucky if you can shower on a regular basis, let alone find time to shave!
FAQs on shaving while pregnant
Best hair removal products during pregnancy?
Personally I suggest using nontoxic, pregnancy safe hair removal method.
I use natural shaving creams, my standard razor, and continued with my waxing routine. Towards the end of pregnancy, I like using an electric hair trimmer to keep excess hair things trim, without needing to do the ultra close shaving routine.
What about laser hair removal while pregnant?
From what I’ve found there have not been studies on the safety of laser hair removal during pregnancy (since it wouldn’t be ethical to do such an experiment). So I don’t think you’d find a salon willing to do it even if you decided you wanted it.
Additionally, even if you had laser hair removal prior to pregnancy, due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, hair often grows back as if you'd never had it done in the first place. Many recommend waiting on laser hair removal until you're done having kids all together for best results.
How to shave your pubic area while pregnant
Removing hair from your private parts during pregnancy is an entirely different ball of wax. Most of the same techniques from above apply to your pubic region as well.
If you only want to trim it, I've found using a men's beard trimmer works best. By the end of your pregnancy, this is one area that will be almost impossible to see no matter how limber and flexible you are, so you may enlist your husbands help here!
The other thing you can try is a hand mirror. That can help you to see down there but without a direct line of sight, it will be hard to shave down there without an accident, let alone actually do a good job.
Personally, I stuck with my regular waxing routine/waxer all through my first pregnancy and was really happy about it. Unfortunately she moved away and the new waxer I started seeing just didn't have “the touch” so I stopped around the time I found out with my second.
Should you shave during pregnancy and before giving birth?
There is no right or wrong answer to removing leg or pubic hair during pregnancy! It’s a personal choice…just don’t do it because you’re worried that someone else expects it!
Seriously: no one expects pregnant women to shave!
While unwanted hair (especially in your private area) can be annoying, body hair is perfectly normal and natural. While it's certainly a personal preference, it's better to feel at peace and comfortable than trying some new hair removal products that lead to ingrown hairs or irritated hair follicles!
The only caution I'll give, is to remember that your body has more blood which leads to more sensitive skin during this time; so be prepared if you decide to try waxing for the first time!
If you’re someone who must shave hopefully one of the methods mentioned above will help you out. If you’ve got another method that worked for you please share it below in the comments so other moms to be can give it a try!
Do doctors shave perineal hair before labor and delivery? Why?
It's true, some doctors still believe there is good medical reason to reduce infection by shaving your perineum before delivery – however there is little medical evidence to support this and it's often a huge topic of debate in the medical world.
In fact, Toronto OB/GYN Dayna Freedman notes medical advice advances with research: “randomized control trials have shown no decrease in infections with hair removal and, in fact, have shown a slight increase with shaving compared to clipping or waxing before procedures. Hospital infection control doesn’t recommend [shaving] at this time.”
In fact, according to registered nurse and lactation consultant, Angela Grant Buechner, BA, BScN, RN, IBCLC, no shaving after 36 weeks is becoming the standard recommendation. If you do want to shave, she says clippers are a good option and a safe way to go about it.
Ultimately the most important thing is your informed consent before doing so and whether or not you're comfortable with perineal shaving. This is an important conversation to have with your prenatal care team and the registered nurse on with you in the delivery room.
When to shave pubic hair before delivery?
If you have a scheduled c-section or induction you may want to shave your legs and shave pubic hair you should not shave 1 week before delivery is schedule.
However if you don't have something “on the books” it's impossible to know when baby will come. I went to nearly 42 weeks with both of my kids!
When can I shave after birth stitches?
If you tore during labor and delivery or are trying to figure out shaving publix hair after an episiotomy you'll have to consult with your health care provider and receive their medical advice on your unique situation.
In general, they'll look you over at the 6 week appointment and let you know how things healed and if you have the green light.
Final thoughts on shaving while pregnant…
I pretty much only shaved my legs if I was wearing shorts or a dress and going somewhere with people I knew. Generally, I wore pants and I'd go to the beach with family so I didn't care about shaving my legs on a regular basis.
Though towards the end of my pregnancy, it did feel nice to have smooth legs, as my body felt more and more uncomfortable. It was like a little treat to myself.
As for down there? During my first pregnancy I got bikini waxes all the way through. Unfortunately my waxer moved between baby one and baby two, and the new waxer just didn't have “the touch.” As much as I'd like to have continued getting waxed, the extra blood flow during pregnancy just left me dreading each appoint so I stopped going.
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