Postpartum body odor change and how to get rid of body odor after pregnancy
You’ve given birth to a beautiful life, Congratulations! Everyone told you about the beauties of becoming a mom. However, there are a few scary parts of postpartum that no one tells you about.
I’m not here to scare you, I just understand your pains as I have gone through it all.
One of the stinky postpartum body changes, if not the worst, was my postpartum body odor. Although not all women go through after-birth body smells, I was not so lucky. I used to smell stinky, especially my underarms smell like onions. Ops!
Now if it’s you, then you may ask, “Why do I smell like onions postpartum”?
I did my research and found that postpartum body odor happens to a lot of women but nobody talks about this postpartum body change. I did my work but I don’t want you to keep searching for answers on why there’s a fishy odor after birth.
In this article, I’m going to talk in-depth about different types of postpartum body odors and how to get rid of body odor after pregnancy.
Why is my body odor so bad after pregnancy
Well, firstly I want to let you know it’s completely normal to have a bad body smell after giving birth. And don’t worry, this happens because our bodies are changing and adjusting to motherhood, amongst other things.
So, why is the body odor so bad after delivery?
Let’s begin with facts about body smell in general. we all have certain body odors generally.
The body odor happens when your sweat comes in contact with the bacteria on your skin. Basically, the sweat itself is odorless, but when it mixes with the bacteria on our body the bacteria amplifies the body odor.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of physical and mental newness. Your body changes rapidly and it’s hard for you to adjust to it, I understand.
But during this process, your body produces natural responses and one of those responses is an increase in sweat resulting in body odor postpartum.
Your body continues to change postpartum and you may face these changes every now and then. Please note that these changes are visible for 6-8 weeks approx after delivery and then you may feel them subsiding on their own.
Let me tell you a few body odors you may face postpartum!
Body odor while breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural part of becoming a mother. Breastfeeding is the most beautiful and natural part of motherhood. For many moms, it can be a rewarding and daunting experience at the same time.
The experience from mom to mom. However, one of the most common breastfeeding side-effects is a change of your body smell aka body odor.
This leads me to a common question: Does breastfeeding make you smell bad?
Naturally, you sweat and probably smell too before having children. But going through pregnancy and postpartum, a woman’s hormones drastically change.
When a mom breastfeeds her baby, even more hormones come into play and she excretes pheromones to draw her baby in to feed.
That means as long as you breastfeed, the estrogen levels could remain suppressed. But low estrogen levels could result in vaginal dryness. This could also be a cause of the postpartum vaginal odor. A lack of nutrition could be another factor contributing to postpartum feminine odor.
Vaginal Odor after birth
Now, here’s a thing that you need to keep in mind. Not all women will have a vaginal odor after giving birth. I had a vaginal delivery so I experienced LOCHIA.
What is lochia?
Lochia is a vaginal discharge you get after a vaginal delivery. It has a stale odor and it’s pretty much like menstrual discharge.
It’s in red color for the first 3-4 days after giving birth. You might also see small blood clots, which are pretty normal.
You may experience this lochia for anywhere between 5-6 weeks after delivery. The vaginal smell is basically because of this lochia, so you don’t have to worry about it.
But, if you have stopped bleeding postpartum and still experience a strong, pungent smell down there, it’s a sign to head to your doctor and make sure you don’t have an infection.
These vaginal changes postpartum can be a source of feminine body odor.
Now, Is it normal to have a bad smell after giving birth?
Yes! Another reason for having vaginal odor after birth could be the changes in your hormones.
During pregnancy, there’s always a sudden change in the flow of hormones in the body.
After childbirth, the level of estrogens drastically drops. This drop in your estrogen levels is what brings a lot of mood changes during your postpartum.
So, hormonal changes could be the reason to induce more vaginal discharge that could be smelly. These physical changes in the body postpartum can cause body odor too.
Apart from this, these estrogen levels could remain the same for a longer time. It depends on different factors, one can be how long you breastfeed your baby.
The longer you breastfeed the longer the estrogen levels could remain suppressed. These low estrogen levels can also result in vaginal dryness. This could be another reason for postpartum odor.
If you’re not eating healthy, this lack of nutrition can be another factor contributing to postpartum vaginal odor.
Adequate nutrition during pregnancy and postpartum is a must to help in the healing process of childbirth. This idea of eating healthy is to restore the vaginal microbiome in order to create a balance between natural vaginal flora and bad bacteria.
A lack of nutrition could be another factor contributing to postpartum feminine odor. Adequate postpartum nutrition may help in the healing process after childbirth. The idea is to restore the vaginal microbiome in order to strike a balance between natural vaginal flora and bad bacteria.
Taking a vaginal probiotic helps maintain your microbiome, restoring a balance between good and bad bacteria. Always look for products that are made with natural ingredients and are affordable.
how long does postpartum body odor last?
Postpartum body odor may or may not continue for 6-8 weeks after childbirth. However, every woman is different.
So, you may ask when does postpartum body odor go away?
Postpartum body odor can last for a very long time for some women or for some it may go away during the first year of childbirth. I noticed that my postpartum body smell remained for as long as I was breastfeeding my child.
But let me tell you it got a lot better than it was during the first weeks of giving birth. So, it generally depends on how your body recovers and goes back to normal.
But don’t worry I have got you covered with a few remedies for this stinking postpartum body odor and remove it horrible occurrence.
how to get rid of postpartum body odor after pregnancy
Here are a few postpartum body odor remedies. Most of what I found that has helped me were DIYs on the Internet. Some worked and some didn’t.
There are still some basics that you need to do regardless of what anyone tells you.
- Bath regularly
- Wear clean clothes
- Avoid alcohol
- Remove body hair regularly
Here Are Affordable and Effective All-Natural Postpartum Body Odor Remedies
drink plenty of water
Believe it or not, when you’re trying to flush something out of your system, even fluids, you need to take in more fluids, especially during postpartum.
Your body loses a lot of water and energy after pregnancy. You need to take more fluids than ever before.
Drink water or if you don’t really like the taste of plain water, you can drink smoothies or shakes. Here are my favorite weight loss smoothie recipes that I drank postpartum to lose weight.
This should help you get rid of all the buildup toxins and fluids that need to get out.
Keep yourself clean
You may also need to take more showers than usual, which can be difficult as you’re a new mom and you’re busy, but it’s important to keep yourself clean.
Make sure to take bath every single day and use a mild soap that is gentle to your skin and keeps your skin nourished.
Change clothes every day. If anything is not working try changing your detergent and go for an organic one. Most of the time the chemicals in our laundry products can cause body odor after reaction with our body.
watch your diet
Another really important thing is to eat healthy after you deliver a child. This is not just for breastfeeding women, but for all moms to get the energy to do things in daily life.
Eating healthy fruits and vegetables will ensure that your body smell goes away as quickly as possible. Your best bet is to make food at home and take fewer takeaways as possible.
Avoid foods that may result in unpleasant body odor, while nourishing yourself with nutrient food during and after pregnancy for you and your baby.
Garlic, cumin, alcohol, caffeine, large quantities of meat, and too little fiber can contribute to body odor and should be avoided.
apply bentonite clay
I use this clay for a variety of reasons in my home. From natural clarifying shampoo to detoxifying face masks this powerful healing clay does its job pretty well.
When I started using this I used it with apple cider vinegar to detoxify my underarms. It works wonders and helps get rid of body odor after delivery faster.
step by step procedure:
- Take bentonite clay and create a medium-thick paste with the clay and cider mixture.
- Apply it to your underarms.
- Keep your arms lifted up slightly to help it dry and really begin drawing out toxin and heavy metals.
- After about 5-7 minutes, rinse your underarms
- Detox your underarms with this clay about every 2-3 weeks.
It is good to use an antibacterial deodorant like this organic deodorant from Alaffia which is currently my favorite one. It is 100% fair trade and free of harmful toxins!
I also love the fact that it contains many essential skin-loving oils. In the past, I used a different brand, but so far, I’ve had nothing but positive results using this deodorant.
My other favorite deodorant is Lume deodorant developed by an OB-GYN, touted as the “World’s First Whole-Body Deodorant”. You can use it under your underarms like regular deodorant.
You can also use it as a cream! Use your fingertips to swipe it anywhere else on the body that’s needed: feet, private parts, inner thighs, etc. It’s free from aluminum and other chemicals that can clog your pores and trap toxins.
make your own deodorant
If you have enough time you can make your own deodorant which consists of very simple steps below.
step by step procudure:
- Take 1/3 cup of coconut oil is in a solid state, melt it over low heat on the stove. You can also put it in a microwave-safe container, and pop it in the microwave for 10-second intervals, until it melts fully.
- Mix in 6–10 drops of essential oil.
- Add 1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder for sensitive skin) and 1/4 cup of baking soda, then mix until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to a small glass jar and store in the refrigerator (since coconut oil has a low melting point).
- Apply with your hands or transfer with a spoon to an empty deodorant tube for mess-free application.
Try Potash Alum (Tawas)
Potassium alum is a mineral salt that has been used as a deodorant in Thailand as well as other countries in Asia and Europe for a long time.
Antiperspirants contain chemicals that can clog your sweat glands. Potash alum, on the other hand, has both antiseptic and astringent properties.
It is believed that natural alum not only prevents body odor but also helps whiten the armpit skin. One alum stick, which is around 7.5cm long, costs far less than a commercial deodorant and can last up to six months or longer.
It effectively stops the growth of odor-causing bacteria. So, you should apply powdered alum on your armpits at least twice a day.
how to use:
- Take one alum stick and grind it in a blender to make a powder.
- Pour it in an airtight container
- Whenever you want to use it take a little amount of the powder and apply it to your underarms.
use apple cider vinegar
If you’re someone who prefers baths, you can put some things in your bathwater to help neutralize odors. These things include a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. You may also add mint or honey.
I love apple cider vinegar! It has so many benefits, and one of them is being able to neutralize postpartum body odor.
It is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic, and it works on the skin by destroying odor-causing bacteria. It helps restore the skin’s pH balance to get rid of odor-causing bacteria.
Here’s a step-by-step routine that I personally followed to get rid of postpartum underarm odor.
step by step procedure:
- Rub the juice of freshly squeezed lime onto your underarms before showering (if you have sensitive skin please dilute it with water).
- Let sit for 3-5 minutes and rinse (Do not use soap on underarms afterward) Use only an exfoliating glove to remove any dead skin.
- Dry your underarms with a clean towel to make sure they’re not damp.
- Apply Apple Cider Vinegar and let it dry.
- Keep underarm hair trimmed really short or shaved to help prevent odor-causing bacteria from clinging to hair.
Tip for Vaginal odor
A natural probiotic can help replenish your body and aid in postpartum body recovery. A little self-care during this period of childbirth will help you regain yourself and quell in body odor.
If you’re dealing with this stinking fishy odor down there, burning during urination, or grey/white discharge you may be dealing with bacterial vaginosis.
For this, my recommendation is to try boric acid suppositories.
It’s best to check two things from your doctor-
- whether boric acid suppositories are right for you
- which one is best for you to consume
final thoughts on underarm odor after pregnancy
New moms have so much on their plate to worry about that body odor seems like another hassle to add to the long list of chores.
The important thing to remember is having a bad or stinky body odor postpartum is completely normal and this phase, like all the other phases shall pass soon.
You might feel like you smell twice as strong as everyone else does, but keeping up good hygiene and changing clothes regularly are definitely very important when it comes to avoiding the build-up of unpleasant odors.
Use these few simple remedies mentioned above and stop spending more time worrying about body odor and focus on spending more time with your baby.
Try and treasure every moment, even those difficult phases that you’re going through right now- this is a bonding period for you and your baby.
Whenever you feel pyranoid related to body odor issues, just remember it’s your body’s natural way to guide your baby to you so that they know they’re safe and protected.
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Postpartum Body Odor And What You Can Do About It
I am the Wife, Mommy, & Blogger behind All Moms Blog learning to run my own home and raise up kids while chasing my dreams. I work to support, inspire, and encourage moms in the journey of motherhood to make their lives easier without losing your sanity.