Birth etiquette
Carrie Linder talks about making friends with an enema.
With a mere 10 days to go until my due date, my mind isn’t on pain relief and contractions (as it probably should be) but instead my thoughts are occupied with all the conflicting information and opinions I’ve heard regarding birth etiquette.

Yes, I am referring to the embarrassing likes of hair removal down there and enemas, also down there (or is it up there?). I know that neither procedure is compulsory any more, the reason being that women wanted to be liberated to make these decisions themselves. Well, I’ve made enough decisions lately (you try choosing paint colours, fabrics and a name for your baby when you’re pregnant, hormonal and emotional) so this whole thing has me in a bit of a tizz.

I have spoken to both of my sisters-in-law, whose opinions I really respect. The first (an anaesthetist who has had two kids of her own) says that doctors and nurses have seen it all before, so there is absolutely no pressure to get the buzz cut or the hose treatment. The other (a nurse) says, yes doctors and nurses have seen it all before, but that doesn’t mean they like seeing it all or want to keep seeing it all. She says both should be mandatory, if for no other reason than for the sake of the poor hospital staff. Point taken.

On the hair removal front, I know that every doctor and their intern will probably be having a good squiz and poke at my vayjay during the labour process, but I will apparently be in so much pain by then that I will welcome the intrusion if it means a speedier extraction of baby’s head. But all this considered, I still don’t like the idea of a stranger shaving me in hospital when I can have it all waxed off in my own time and by my own beautician. So that is what I’m going to do.

On the enema front (or behind), well I guess I could sidestep it and try some home remedies: prunes, a whole box of bran, linseeds? But apparently the only sure fire way (excuse the pun) of getting the job done properly is to succumb to a dreaded enema once you get to hospital. But I really don’t like the idea of being on the loo during labour – I don’t want to end up on the front page of a tabloid under some horrific headline: “Woman gives birth in the loo.” Ok, I’m going to give home remedies a try. Someone please pass the prunes…

Does birth etiquette make you nervous? Got any hair or loo horror stories to frighten Carrie with?

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