Before giving birth to my daughter, I booked a haircut and told my hairdresser to take a little more off than usual. “I’m due in two weeks,” I explained to her (as if it wasn’t obvious that I was about to pop any second), “so I probably won’t be back here for another six months or so.” She kindly obliged and let me know that my new curtain bangs would grow out nicely and require minimal upkeep.
I gave the same spiel to my dentist, and also treated myself to a fancy pedicure knowing full well that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a full hour to myself for a while (this was my second kid, so I was familiar with the all-consuming haze of the newborn phase).
And sure, my prenatal self-care circuit may sound a little OTT, but it’s by no means unique. In a highly unscientific poll, I asked two separate mom groups and some trusted work colleagues about their pre-birth regimens and every single parent reported getting some type of beauty treatment in the weeks leading up to their due date. The most common procedure was a mani/pedi, followed by a haircut, a massage (although the consensus here was that prenatal massages are more like body rubs, aka pointless), a facial and yes, even a wax.
“Before I had my first baby, I was (rightfully) anxious that once she came, I wouldn't have time to do anything,” a work colleague and mom-of-one told me. “There were so many things I wanted to do, but it was early covid, pre-vaccines, and it felt reckless to sit in a salon and indulge in a mani and pedi. And yet...that did not stop me from getting a bikini wax. I knew once I got too big, it would be impossible to saddle a table on my own. So, at 35 weeks pregnant, after an OBGYN appointment, I stopped by a European Wax Center disguised (dual purpose) in a full-blown N-95 mask and got what I wished for. I pulled myself onto the table like a beached whale and said to the specialist, ‘Oh, and I'm pregnant, if that changes anything’ She looked at me like, ‘Yeah, no shit’ and then went to town. Another word was not spoken. I was terrified I would pee on her. I was terrified the first wax strip would put me into early labor and then I'd have to explain myself. But it was quick, and once I was done, I felt like I got a huge to-do off my list. I think that's the last time I've been able to go, actually.”