In case you missed it, New York makeup artist, Alaha Karimi recently posted photos of herself applying makeup in the labour room to her Instagram account. What a woman does to prep for giving birth is by no means any of my business, but others feel differently.
In fact, for every bit of positive feedback Alaha Karimi received, she got an equal amount of condemnation. Check out one of her posts and let us know what you think. Offensive? Or a mother being herself?
Why people feel the need to bash a woman for wanting to be as comfortable and confident as possible during childbirth is beyond me, especially when such an act is far from uncommon.
To defend Karimi’s posts and her desire to be herself during labour, Women’s Health Magazine interviewed six mothers who discussed some beauty regimens and techniques that helped them feel more at ease during childbirth.
Here’s what these beauty enthusiast and mothers had to say:
“I am a makeup addict. It’s my happy place and relaxes me. I started labouring at 8 a.m. but knew it would take a while to go into active labor. I took a bath, did a face peel, painted my nails, and did my makeup. It relaxed me and took my mind off my contractions. I luckily had an unmedicated birth and the day after, when people came to visit, I once again had a full face of makeup on. I just wouldn’t have felt comfortable without it. My body was so unfamiliar after birth, at least the face looking back was the one I created.”—Ashley, 41
“It was a big deal to me to be able to wear my own clothes during labour and after birth. I found the hospital gowns uncomfortable, unflattering, and unfeminine. Even just bringing my own nightgown and yoga pants to wear afterward made me feel more confident greeting visitors.”—Sarah, 32
“I knew that having my body and my environment the way I wanted them would help me when I was in labour—I wasn’t interested in lying on my back, wearing a rough hospital gown and being told what to do…and then feeling ugly and out of it for weeks postpartum. So I chose my medical providers carefully, bought special and comfortable clothes to labor in, and even made birth affirmation posters I could see during my last weeks of pregnancy. I also got gel nails and lash extensions done a few weeks before, as I knew I wouldn’t have time after my son was born. I ended up giving birth totally naked in the tub at the birth center I chose, and wouldn’t change any of it for a second. I felt totally empowered in my birth and in what I did to prepare myself beauty-wise.”—Cristina, 36
“I took a shower and then dried my hair on my birth ball in between contractions. I have really thin hair, and I hate the way it feels plastered to my head and how it falls into my face when it air dries. I knew it would bug me if I didn’t. I just wanted to enjoy my baby instead of being annoyed by my hair.” —Megan, 30
“I had heard from a friend that a good way to pass the time leading up to your due date is scheduling a ‘grown-up’ activity every few days. Inevitably, you’d have to miss one of the things because you’d have your baby! So at 39 weeks, I scheduled a pedicure, a fancy dinner out, and a haircut over the course of a few days. I made it to the pedicure and went into labour in the middle of dinner out. And while I was in labour, to feel like myself, I felt that it was important to wear my own clothes. In the hospital and away from all of my own comforts, I at least wanted to look like myself. When it was almost time to push, I had my husband find my favourite teal tank top.” —Rebecca, 37
“It was really important for me to feel good about myself the closer I got to my due date. I did little things like getting my hair highlighted and getting a pedicure, simple things to cheer me up/cheer me on during labor and the days after. I also intentionally brought a cute robe, cute PJs, makeup, and some turquoise earrings to the hospital. I didn’t use them until the next day, but they helped me feel more like myself again.” —Kate, 40
For these mums, being as comfortable and confident as possible during birth meant keeping up with their beauty routines. If it sounds harmless, it’s because it is!
Mums, whatever it takes to boost your confidence and to be at ease during labour, by all means do it!
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below.