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giving birth

You Should Look Your Worst After Having A Baby, Not Freshly Spray-Tanned

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When I went to the hospital to deliver my twins, I thought about this life-changing experience I was about to have. I stressed out about whether or not we had everything we needed back at the house for them. I hoped that the birth would go smoothly. I did not worry about the state of my pubic hair. I also did not bring make-up to the hospital. I think I brought a hairbrush, but I’m not sure because I was too busy having newborns for that stand out in my memory.

Now that your first photo with your new baby can be shared on Facebook with everyone you’ve ever known, a lot of new moms are figuring out how they can look their best after ten hours of labor and giving birth to a new life. This is crazy, people. CRAZY. You know what I think when I see a photo of a perfectly made-up and blown-out new mom holding her baby in her hospital bed? I think, “Lord have mercy. What a nut.”

You’re not supposed to look good after giving birth! Your appearance should be the last thing on your mind after delivery. You have either just a) had your legs spread for everyone in the world to see and probably pooped in front of all of them too, or b) just had your belly cut open and your uterus resting briefly on your chest. The mystique is gone, y’all. If after all that you still want a mani-pedi, then bless your heart but I am going to go ahead and exit stage left. I’m out.

But maybe you just want to wear something more fashionable than that drab old hosipital gown. Well, there’s a site called Pretty Pushers, which offers lovely dresses for you to give birth in. They are machine washable, thankfully, and have “a low-cut back to allow for epidural access if necessary.” Not sure what to do with your fluid-soaked gown after delivery?Pretty Pushers says you can, “Wear it, dispose of it or upcycle it for a keepsake.” Fantastic. Make sure you give it a good-once over before you go out in it, though. No one wants to be that woman at the party whose friend says, “Kim, you look great! But you have a little something on the back of your dress…is this placenta?”

In between banging my head against my desk, I also found a forum in which a reader asked what the “correct etiquette is” for pubic hair during delivery. Gurl, I could barely wipe my own ass during the third trimester. Dealing with my pubic hair did not make it onto the agenda. This obsession with having a well-groomed pubic area (for whose benefit I’m not sure, because those are not the photos you should be posting on Facebook) can go down the road to crazy really fast. For example, the Sydney Morning Herald talked to new mom Shereen K, and said:

Shereen K admits to waxing and fake-tanning in between her contractions when her waters broke ten days early.  “It threw all my plans into mayhem, so I wasn’t prepped at all,” she says. “In the car on the way to the hospital I was plucking my eyebrows.”

…thank you very much for sharing, but my answer is no. If you are putting hot wax on your vagina in-between contractions, then you are a masochist with bizarre priorities, which is the worst kind of masochist.

This fixation with looking our best for social media photos has crossed the line when we start primping while we are in labor. If you’re that concerned about your appearance after delivery, then why not share a photo of the baby that doesn’t include you? But then what’s the point, right? People don’t want to see your baby, they want to see you having had a baby. That’s why you also need to make sure you get the right lighting and angle. As Pregnancy and Baby put it:

Know your face and figure out your best angles and work that camera, dah-ling. Ciaran is willing to admit this means shooting down. “Yes, I made my poor husband stand on a chair. Sorry, honey.”

Indeed. Here is my post-delivery photo:

You Should Look Your Worst After Having A Baby  Not Freshly Spray Tanned mom1 jpg

Nailed it.

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