Birth Specialist on TikTok Has Important Message for Pregnant People: Throw Out Your Razor
As "Labor Day" draws near, parents-to-be may feel like their list of last-minute to-dos is endless, from packing a hospital bag to putting the finishing touches on the nursery to pre-washing all those teeny-tiny onesies.
That pregnant person may also have one last thing on their mind: A little grooming down there. After all, your genital area will never be on fuller display than it is when you're giving birth.
But a nurse, lactation consultant, and doula has a message for birthing folks: Don't bother. In fact, she says that it's best if you leave your public hair alone throughout your pregnancy, and that's especially true as it gets closer to your due date.
The birth specialist, who goes by @nutmeg_lc on TikTok, posted a now-viral video with 3.7 million views.
"Did you know that it's actually NOT recommended to shave public hair after 36 weeks of pregnancy?" her video caption reads.
Though it's understandable that birthing people might want to look, and feel, their best on the big day, the TikToker goes on to explain why.
"Shaving public hair can INCREASE the risk of infection at the time of birth, even with Cesarean birth," another caption reads.
The excuse not to shave pubic hair may come as a relief to expecting parents. In the third trimester especially, you might have difficulty seeing your toes, let alone your genital area, which can make shaving safely tough.
But waxing is another option for hair removal, and one someone else can take care of for you. But is that a good idea? The birth specialist weighed in.
"Waxing isn't necessary either and is usually more painful during pregnancy," she says.
Again, this news may come as a relief to some. But still, is it possible that a doctor might judge a bush?
"Doctors don't care," the TikToker assured viewers. "Leave the bush alone."
The video has more than 200K likes and 7K comments, though TikTokers gave the advice mixed reviews. One person was relieved.
"This is fantastic news because I can no longer reach," they wrote.
And another person revealed that they never even think to shave—pre-birth or ever. "Fun fact: I never shave in general because it makes me uncomfortable, and my daughter came out just fine."
There's nothing wrong with that, either. Many people don't shave their body hair.
But others were skeptical of the nurse's advice.
"If you don't shave it, the doctor will ask the nurse to shave it before labor," one TikToker insisted. But the specialist responded, "This is not standard practice anymore in many countries."
Similar comments followed, exasperating some TikTokers.
"You guys, this lady is literally a nurse. Not TikTok trying to tell professionals they're wrong," one person pointed out. And the birth specialist responded. "Yep, people think that, because they were shaved, it must be best practice. Unfortunately, medicine can be very slow to change, and we learn," @nutmeg_lc replied.
The nurse also cited a 2014 systemic review concluding that there is "insufficient evidence to recommend perineal shaving for women on admission in labor."
A few years ago, a midwife gave a similar PSA: "As long as the baby can come out, we don't care if you're full bush, bald as a baby, or something exciting like a lightning bolt/vajazzled," the midwife wrote on Reddit." (She also mentioned that midwives could shave pubic hair with a sterile razor before a C-section.)
The bottom line: Don't worry about shaving down there for appearance purposes. If your doctor needs to shave it, they will. Just focus on your physical and mental health in the weeks leading up to your due date, and throughout your pregnancy in general—that will help you bring a healthy little one into this world.
And you can, and should, ask your doctor to clarify any medical advice you watched on social media—this TikTok included.