So much changes with your body when you go through pregnancy. And in the postpartum phase too.
Of course, I’ve clued you into some of the stranger things, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t warn you about body odor after having a baby.
Body odor after pregnancy happens to many women. Since we’re all different, it may affect you more or less than others. If you’ve noticed a change in body odor after pregnancy, it is probably not a figment of your imagination though I’m sure you wish it were.
Increased body odor after pregnancy is entirely normal, though. In today’s topic, I’m tackling those unpleasant odors you may be picking up from yourself and how to get rid of them so you can feel like the amazing and wonderfully confident mama you deserve!
Can having a baby change your body odor?
Yes, having a baby can change your body odor. And it will go away at some point. But if you are sniffing something unpleasant, you might be the culprit.
This all has to do with hormones and some other stuff I will explain below. But first, I want you to know not to panic.
Second, I want to remind you that your sense of smell is heightened right now. So you are most likely the one that is overwhelmed by the smell. That helps, right?
When does postpartum body odor disappear?
Some women have said their postpartum body odor stuck around, while others noticed it going away within that first year of being a mama. It will depend on how your body recovers and how your hormones balance out.
You don’t have to stink, even though you’re likely the only one who is really noticing this. If it’s bothering you, you need to take care of it. And I’ll tell you exactly how to do that!
What causes bad body odor postpartum?
Knowing what causes this bad body odor after having a baby is important. Knowing your enemy is how you conquer it, after all!
Here are the culprits…
Postpartum sweating body odor happens because your body is flushing extra fluids out after the baby. It’s doing what it should, but you may notice an armpit smell after pregnancy. Postpartum underarm odor happens to many women and can even occur with those night sweats.
Sweat smells, as you know.
Your hormones try to balance back to how they were before you had the baby. As such, it can change your scent. Think back to puberty when your scent changed then. It’s the same thing.
And yes, expect that to change AGAIN when you undergo menopause. Oh, joy.
As for these postpartum hormones, though, they also elicit a smell for the baby. Babies can’t really see very well at the beginning of life, so it helps them know it’s you.
- Vaginal odors
While I don’t recall having smelly underarms after having my kids, I can fully recall how badly things smelled down there. That lochia that comes out for about 4 to 6 weeks after giving birth has a rather stinky smell.
It is a good sign because it shows that your uterus is healing and cleansing after the baby.
Just like your period can smell a bit, this does too. But it’s worse because it’s like a month of stinky vaginal smells. Good thing you’re not supposed to have sex yet. That would repel anyone away!
- Other smells
As a breastfeeding mom, I felt like I often smelled like milk when I was at home. Old, sour milk. Probably because I was covered in it. Sure, I’d shower, but sometimes, it was just not possible, especially if I was on my own with either baby.
So, it lacks showering and time to pamper yourself fully. And getting covered in breastmilk or formula, diapers (ugh!), and spit-up.
Don’t forget that you can smell better now, but that will return to normal in time.
Oh, and if you had a c-section, you might release more gas now than you ever did before. This is great for your body as it heals. But it will stink to high heaven; I promise you this.
When postpartum smells should concern you
There are a few times when smells are more than an inconvenience to your nostrils (and perhaps to those around you as well). If you ever see pus along with a nasty stench coming from your incision, you have a fever, or you have vaginal discharge that is green while you’re itching and in pain, you need to call the doctor immediately. These smells are not ordinary and require medical attention!
How do you get rid of underarm odor after pregnancy?
You must shower daily to eliminate underarm odor after having a baby. I know. It’s hard some days with a newborn, but that’s one of the easiest ways.
Also, shave those armpits. I know, I know. Time is a factor. But those underarm hairs lock smells in and make them worse.
Use a deodorant or antiperspirant. That will help.
Also, drink lots of water and try to avoid drinking alcohol.
Now, I can’t say from personal experience, but I’ve had 8 different friends tell me that the best deodorant for postpartum body odor is by Lume. I’m intrigued since it has no aluminum, baking soda, or parabens and lasts 72 hours. AND! You can use it on every part of you that stinks, from your armpits to your vaginal bits and feet.
What I like is that it takes away all those odors from everywhere and as my friend Emily enthused, “I no longer smell that nasty postpartum discharge anymore. My husband swore he couldn’t smell it at all, but I could. And now, it’s bliss. I feel like myself again, and I’m not lacking confidence because I think everyone can smell me from 5 states away.”
A final word about postpartum body odor…
I know you hate the smells, but chances are they are only bothering you. Still, it’s enough to make you wonder if everyone can smell you. And then you wonder if everyone is talking about you when you leave the room.
But now that you know what can cause postpartum body odor, you can be on top of that while you get on top of being a mom. It takes practice, but you will get it; I know it!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.