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Should you shave pubic hair before giving birth? We ask the experts

A lot of women wonder what's the right choice for grooming before birth.
/ Source: TODAY

Angela Grant Buechner, a doula in Toronto, doesn’t beat around the bush when pregnant women ask for her thoughts on shaving down there.

“Just don’t,” Grant Buechner told TODAY Parents.

In a video that has more than 3.7 million views on TikTok, Grant Buechner, who is also a registered nurse and lactation consultant, explains that grooming is not recommended beyond 36 weeks gestation.

“Shaving pubic hair can INCREASE risk of infection at the time of birth, even with Cesarean birth,” she wrote. “Leave the bush alone.”

Dr. Kate White, an associate professor of OB/GYN at the Boston University School of Medicine, is delighted that Grant Buechner’s PSA is going viral. She advises all pregnant patients to put down the razor.

”Research and medical studies have shown that there is no benefit to shaving — only clear risks,” White told TODAY Parents. "It's true that for decades, women were shaved in the hospital before delivery — but they were also given enemas, twilight sleep and sometimes strapped to the bed. Thankfully, science has progressed and we know a lot more now."

White noted that shaving with razors creates small nicks in the skin, which can promote infection after delivery. Other risks include folliculitis, which White describes as “angry red bumps,” ingrown hairs, and cellulitis, a potentially life-threatening bacterial skin condition.

“With Cesarean section — about a third of women will end up having one — shaving has been shown to increase the risk of infection,” she said. “Recovery from C-section is hard enough. You don’t need to add an infection on top of it.”

White, who is the author of the upcoming book “Your Guide to Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss,” stressed that doctors are not judging your grooming habits.

“I can promise you that your provider is not looking at anything related to your hair because they are totally focused on your cervix and the baby coming down on your vagina,” she said.

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