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Q&A: How Do I Prepare "Down There"?

Q. How should I prepare "down there" when it gets closer to my due date?

A. If you're talking about shaving or waxing your pubic hair, don't bother unless that's your personal preference anyway. Your mom or grandmother might have had her pubic area shaved for delivery (though she might not have mentioned that little detail) because medical practitioners were once concerned that a baby could be infected by bacteria in the vaginal area during delivery. The current thinking is that you're actually more likely to transmit bacteria to your baby if you are shaved because little nicks and cuts make a handy breeding ground for that sort of thing. For this reason, you might want to switch to waxing your bikini line or just leave it alone until after delivery, though with the antiseptic wash commonly used in birth centers or hospitals, there's really very little cause for concern. At most, your practitioner might trim a little hair around the site of any tearing or an episiotomy, if you need stitches in that region after the birth.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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