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Pregnancy Grooming: The Hair Down There

By Amalah

Pregnancy Bikini Wax GroomingHi Amy,

I’m pregnant and am just starting my second trimester. This is my second pregnancy and the first time I’ve made it this far. After finally starting to relax about miscarriage, I’m beginning to focus on more pressing(ly ridiculous) issues. What about grooming when you’re so pregnant you can’t see your feet, let alone your bikini zone??

After a few landing strip years, I now lean towards the balder end the hair removal spectrum. This has been easy until now to maintain with shaving and depilatory creams. My belly is still almost non-existent, but it occurs to me that at some point it’ll be difficult to maneuver a razor or applicator down there.

I’m flexible about how to remove and also how much I leave down there, but I’m not into letting the weeds grow unchecked for the last few months of my pregnancy when I can no longer bend that way. Regular use of a cream seems frowned upon and I worry I’ll get rejected at a certain stage from getting a wax at a salon. Any tips or suggestions??


There’s absolutely no reason why you would get “rejected” at a salon for a bikini wax, no matter how far along you are. Bikini waxes are completely safe for most pregnant women (barring some kind of extenuating health complication), and plenty of pregnancy do-it-at-home groomers will move on to the salon professionals to take care of things once the belly gets in the way.

The only problem with waxing during pregnancy, however, is that it can be more painful for some women, because your skin can become much more sensitive. And…nerve endings. And science. And assorted “pregnancy is strange” things. Some women don’t report much of a difference between waxing pain levels before, during and after pregnancy, while others REALLY notice a jump in their discomfort level. (I found the first wax post-baby to be weirdly extra painful, instead of the ones during.) But a good salon and esthetician should have experience and options (hard wax vs. other varieties, aftercare products) that should make your waxing as easy as possible for you.

As for creams and depilatories, let’s turn to the experts at the American Pregnancy Association:

“The main concerns with depilatories during pregnancy are the active ingredients barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate. There is no evidence that they are harmful during pregnancy, but there have been no studies that prove they are safe either.

As with any cosmetic, you should try a patch of skin to see how you react. The chemicals, once exposed to oxygen, leave a distinct odor, which may be very unpleasant for you and in rare cases has been known to cause an allergic reaction. You will want to take extra measures to ensure a well-ventilated area and proper timing so chemical burns do not result.”

So. Typical pregnancy safety double-speak, like hair coloring or certain ingredients in over-the-counter beauty creams. Basically, it’s up to you. Some women are just more comfortable taking a hard-line better-safe-than-sorry approach with everything, while others find that trying to keep up with everything that MIGHT VAGUELY POSSIBLY be less than conclusively proven 100% safe drives them completely insane.

Personally, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle, especially once I’m out of the first trimester and the bulk of super-intense development is over with. At that point, I will still steer clear of anything that’s been proven harmful, but will take the grey area stuff on a case-by-case  basis. A little hair dye and zit cream? Eh. I think I’ll be okay. Prescription medications or Frankenfood ingredients? You better have VOLUMES of proof for me that it’s safe before I’m going to touch it, or else show me a really convincing risk/reward ratio. But for your preferred use of hair-removal creams, it’s going to be between you and your doctor and how comfortable you are with topical chemicals and the possibility of absorption and the length of exposure time and the general question-mark-ness around it.

Now, back to the IMPORTANT topic of PUBIC HAIR MAINTENANCE: I never quite had it together enough to get more than the very occasional wax during my pregnancies, despite the best of intentions, so I did most of my upkeep at home. I never really aimed for bald, just…neat. Trimmed and tidy. I’ve always been surprised at just how far along I can be before it gets REALLY difficult — one leg up on the side of the tub (make sure your tub floor is slip-resistant), a little assistance from my husband’s shower-shaving mirror, then eventually sitting/lying down and staying fairly stretchy and bendy…I get the job pretty well done. If I were set on keeping things mostly hairless, though, yeah. I’d probably would opt for taking care of things at a salon. Again, there’s no reason why you can’t, unless your doctor specifically tells you otherwise, or if you discover that you can’t tolerate one without screaming at your poor esthetician like you’re practicing for labor.

In the final month and weeks, I have historically enlisted the help of my husband. Including the night I went into labor with my first, and the morning of my c-section with my second. Seriously, with everything that man eventually went on to witness just a few hours later, I can honestly say that helping me in the shower with a few razor strokes is way, WAY down on his list of Weird Things He Did That Day.


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About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvic[email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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