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#1 of 65 Old 03-31-2010, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was reading an article in Herizons Magazine, Spring 2010 issue recently about the NA trend of body hair elimination and brazilian waxing or landing strip grooming. It got me to thinking. I've attended maybe 7 births as a doula and have two babies of my own. So far I've been the only person who has not groomed or trimmed her pubic hair for the birth.

It got me to wondering about what others see. Sorry to ask such a weird question! But I am really wondering what midwives and doulas see (and quite frankly I am wondering if there are many more hairy mamas like me). I suspect in the big NA cities and more mainstreamish society there is more pubic hair trimming. I find myself wondering though about what midwives in our community see (I live in Toronto, Ontario) -- do the orthodox women giving birth trim their pubes? And Amish women in the rural areas of Ontario?

What about elsewhere? I wonder if cultures not regularly exposed to mainstream pornography do so.

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#2 of 65 Old 03-31-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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I live in Utah, and used to live in Colorado do both home and hospital births I see about 25% naked, 50% trimmed and 25% natural.

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#3 of 65 Old 03-31-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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All kinds of variation. Can't put a number on it, but I bet completebeginnings is accurate for here. I don't think "socially conservative" women are less or more likely to remove hair, although I do not serve Amish women or many orthodox.
If anyone asks me, I recommend trimming the hair with scissors or a beard trimmer to make it shorter, like an inch long or so. Keeps the blood clots from sticking post partum, without the razor burn of shaving or the danger of razor cuts for big bellied mamas.
I feel like my clients keep me up to date on the big trends in pubes. Makes me feel old and young at the same time.

Not a discussion I have with clients, but I haven't heard any of my friends say it's porn motivated. Everyone usually cites cleanliness/sweatiness/sensation as the reason to trim/shave. I question the porn connection.

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#4 of 65 Old 04-01-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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I have seen a pretty good mix, probably about what completebeginnings stated.... although, I think a bit less than 25% in the naked category.... maybe more like 10%? I am not real sure and it is not something I keep stats on

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#5 of 65 Old 04-01-2010, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MidwifeErika View Post
I have seen a pretty good mix, probably about what completebeginnings stated.... although, I think a bit less than 25% in the naked category.... maybe more like 10%? I am not real sure and it is not something I keep stats on
Understandably.

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#6 of 65 Old 04-01-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MidwifeErika View Post
I have seen a pretty good mix, probably about what completebeginnings stated.... although, I think a bit less than 25% in the naked category.... maybe more like 10%? I am not real sure and it is not something I keep stats on
What? You don't keep stats on it? How do you report to NARM then?

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#7 of 65 Old 04-01-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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Im pretty new so I only have a hand full of births I have attended....

1. C-section so idk about the "status" down under lol
2. all natural
3. naked
4. naked
5. Client chose mother to be in the room instead of me when the # of people were limited because of mec in the water so "status" unknown as well

Keep in mind that the naked ones were pretty young.... 20's and the all natural in her late 30's. I have had 2 kids... going on 3, and I am also in my 20's. Im all natural here but I do "maintain" myself


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#8 of 65 Old 04-01-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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Ouch... wouldn't waxing during pregnancy be extra painful? (sorry for barging in here - I'm so not a birth professional)

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#9 of 65 Old 04-01-2010, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ouch... wouldn't waxing during pregnancy be extra painful? (sorry for barging in here - I'm so not a birth professional)
I've seen women do it!

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#10 of 65 Old 04-01-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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I've seen women do it!
guess I'm just a weenie!

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#11 of 65 Old 04-01-2010, 07:36 PM
 
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I have seen a pretty good mix, probably about what completebeginnings stated.... although, I think a bit less than 25% in the naked category.... maybe more like 10%? I am not real sure and it is not something I keep stats on
Oh come on, yes you do, I have seen your pube stats book.

I have seen way more natural than groomed; occasionally there will be the totally shaved client but more often than not they're au natural.

As a person who gets waxed on a semi-regular basis even I would not wax during pregnancy... it just seems like it would hurt more.

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#12 of 65 Old 04-02-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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All but one (out of 75) has been au natural, most ladies in our area would rather have some forest to cover the landscape... As long as it's clean, we don't care one way or the other...I have heard that some ladies trim, but never saw one finished...the nekkid one, looked a little child-like...But it's whatever they want to do- I personally discourage complete shaves- could cause infection and it itches like the dickens when it grows back...(that's why we quit doing it in the 70's)
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#13 of 65 Old 04-03-2010, 05:42 AM
 
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Out of my 19, most have been trimmed, one was waxed (I second the OUCH on that, she had it done at 39 weeks!) and one was full on bush.

Amy, Army wife living in S. Korea, mama to my inverted t c/s baby 04.05.08 and my VBAC with inverted t baby 07.24.10
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#14 of 65 Old 04-03-2010, 07:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
Ouch... wouldn't waxing during pregnancy be extra painful? (sorry for barging in here - I'm so not a birth professional)
Yes! It does hurt more. At least IMO. I was having regular waxing sessions (not brazillians though) until about 28 weeks (I think). I stopped cos it got too uncomfortable but I have not found a satisfactory alternative so I can understand why people keep going. I may get one more done around my due date.

Not sure if the increased pain is hormonal or because, pre-pregnancy, I usually take paracetamol/iburofen pre-wax.

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#15 of 65 Old 04-03-2010, 07:51 AM
 
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I live in a fairly affluent area, and when I gave birth at the local hospital, the midwife there told me that 90% of the women were completely hair-free. I was one of the 10%

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#16 of 65 Old 04-03-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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Wow, kinda sad to see that so many women are trimming and especially shaving their parts naked. IMO, a woman has a bush! Only little girls are hairless and I find the trend toward pubic nudity more than a little disturbing.

I have not seen a naked pubis yet, but several trimmed to some degree--maybe 25%. Mostly these are not Plain people, but I've seen a few New Order (modern) types with trims/partial shaving.
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#17 of 65 Old 04-03-2010, 10:13 AM
 
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I shaved my bikini line through pregnancy... but ignored the rest

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#18 of 65 Old 04-03-2010, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried the hairless thing once in my early 20s and it was awful. I thought it made me look like a little girl, and it really creeped me out. I thought, if THAT'S what my partner wants from me, to look like I did pre-puberty, then there is something wrong here. I am a woman.

I also tried waxing my bikini line once. Once. After one pull of the wax, tears and some blood, I threw it away. I thought, why put myself through this ridiculous torture because of some hair? Please!

So glad my dh and I are both of the same mindset: hairy

Having said all that, as a doula, I think people have to do whatever is right for them.

So it seems to me that the trend in bigger cities is towards hairlessness or grooming. Pruning the Verge, as we would otherwise call it.

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#19 of 65 Old 04-04-2010, 01:06 AM
 
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Yikes, I did a full wax once, it was terrible! Blood and blood blisters, not to mention pain. And I like waxing, although I never do it because of the cost, I prefer hair to shaving.

I am pretty well endowed and do wax a couple of times in summer, which yes, is a vanity thing. I also notice that during pregnancy I am just generating a lot more smell down below...perhaps I am more sensitive to smell, but I think I have just a lot more going on...so I really feel it is a good idea for me to keep it trimmed. My husband is wonderful and not only does he do it for me he uses (although he admits to not liking the idea) his trimmer. I feel cleaner...so there are some less then vain reasons for wanting to keep the 'full on bush' under control. LOL!
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#20 of 65 Old 04-04-2010, 01:48 AM
 
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Oh come on, yes you do, I have seen your pube stats book.
.
Oh man...that made me seriously laugh out loud!!

Our Amish moms are au natural and I would say 75% of our english moms are too. Occasionally we have moms who trim (even shave their stomachs!) but mostly it's left alone.

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#21 of 65 Old 04-04-2010, 01:59 AM
 
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I must say, I am really just waiting for the day when something with hair design shocks or impresses me. Perhaps a lady will shave into a heart shape and dye it hot pink or something like that. If so, that will go down in my stats book

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#22 of 65 Old 04-04-2010, 02:17 AM
 
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Wow, kinda sad to see that so many women are trimming and especially shaving their parts naked. IMO, a woman has a bush! Only little girls are hairless and I find the trend toward pubic nudity more than a little disturbing.


A PP said that their friends did not cite porn as their reason for shaving/waxing. Well, is that really surprising? It's not "the porno made me do it", the point is that the idea of hairless being normal or common is propagated by porn. It's the only time most of us see someone else naked crotch.

I do see the merits of trimming as it seems to make certain tasks easier, both in bed (ahem!) and in the bathroom (such as the blood clots someone mentioned earlier). I'm sure that being totally hairless makes things even easier, but for me it's 1) too much maintenance and 2) too prepubescent. For the record, I don't really shave any other hair on my body either, so I don't have any double standards in that regard. I admit I'm fairly hairless though, so I understand why other people might prefer to shave.

Edited to add: Whoops, I saw this on the front page and posted before I saw it was in "Birth Professionals"!
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#23 of 65 Old 04-04-2010, 02:59 AM
 
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I don't see it as "sad" or disturbing as other posters have mentioned- and I really don't believe that I'm equating lack (or reduction) of hair with pre-pubescence and sexiness. It's just hair- much like some folks shave legs or armpits or faces and other people don't. I knew a woman once who shaved her forearms because she thought the hair was unattractive...

I've done the spectrum myself- from totally bare to trimmed to au natural. Different things have worked for me at different times in my life. I'm pregnant now and have found that increased discharge means that I'm just a whole lot more comfortable shaved or really trimmed.

Plus, I'm very aware of how messy things can be post-partum with lots of hair down there!

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#24 of 65 Old 04-04-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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I did trim things down there, postpartum, so I could keep the mess to a minimum... going naked is WAY too much work and pain, though! razor cuts on the crotch just sounds - bad - and I had a bad enough experience trying to wax my legs (they bled!) that I'm not putting wax anywhere near my genitals.

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#25 of 65 Old 04-04-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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I'm not a midwife, but I am a NP, and worked in women's health until recently. When I first started in healthcare in the early '90s, if a patient was shaved, there was a 99% chance she was an exotic dancer or an escort. Now, I would say most of my white, teen to mid-20s patients are completely shaved. It's just been a really dramatic transition.

Trying to get my bearings...
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#26 of 65 Old 04-05-2010, 03:16 AM
 
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I disagree with the idea that shaved = little girl. I certainly don't think grown women look at all like little girls when hairless. There's quite a bit of difference there. I don't think men think they look childlike, either. Trying to stay in topic, here, but hairlessness can be a sign of women who demand certain enjoyable acts be part of their relationships.
I think most men are shaving, too. Not really in the dating scene to sample myself, or providing men's healthcare, but my friends certainly are manscaping the landscaping. Quid pro quo for those enjoyable acts that they might like.

I do find it a little amusing that the right to not be shaved was one of the reasons women marched on hospitals. Now they are walking in pre-shaved. Or waxed, or whatever.

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#27 of 65 Old 04-05-2010, 03:59 AM
 
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I disagree with the idea that shaved = little girl. I certainly don't think grown women look at all like little girls when hairless. There's quite a bit of difference there. I don't think men think they look childlike, either. Trying to stay in topic, here, but hairlessness can be a sign of women who demand certain enjoyable acts be part of their relationships.
I think most men are shaving, too. Not really in the dating scene to sample myself, or providing men's healthcare, but my friends certainly are manscaping the landscaping. Quid pro quo for those enjoyable acts that they might like.


I think many women go through an experimental phase regarding their lady
gardening habits in their early 20's that may or may not be influenced by erotic media, but if they stick with it, it is probably because they just like how it feels.
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#28 of 65 Old 04-05-2010, 11:12 AM
 
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Most of the estheticians I know will not wax during the third trimester because (they say) skin is thinner and more prone to minor tearing and bleeding.

As a veteran of endless arguments among feminists about hair removal, I have long since come to conclude that women are more than capable of making up their own minds on the issue without undue influence from third parties of any kind.
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#29 of 65 Old 04-05-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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The only person I know personally who got a wax done while PG, got it done in her late third tri because self maintenance was becoming an issue. She had never had a wax job before, and she reported that it did not hurt at all, but it did wax off a weird pregnancy skin tag which bled a lot.
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#30 of 65 Old 04-05-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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Ouch... wouldn't waxing during pregnancy be extra painful? (sorry for barging in here - I'm so not a birth professional)
No more than any other time. I did both waxing and sugaring predelivery (one on each kid) and waxing was by far easier.
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