Feminine odor...It happens to the best of us. And it’s completely normal! Ladies, it’s time to stop the shame and embarrassment around vaginal issues and stand up to get the help we need.
For new mommas, you may be experiencing postpartum vaginal odor. I mean, you just went through the mecca of hormonal changes (and still are) and if you delivered vaginally, you experienced an intense trauma to your body - you pushed a small human out! Our bodies are nothing short of incredible.
But you may now be noticing an odor from down there. When is that odor normal? When you should seek help from your doctor? Is there anything you can purchase to help from home? We’ll discuss all this and more and I'll give you the exact recipe I used to cure this problem for myself.
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Postpartum Feminine Odor: What Causes it?
I’m just going to come right out and say it, weird smells are a normal part of the postpartum journey. And not just a new scent from your feminine area, but you may also have other new body scents that are less than desirable (hello, extra sweating, and BO). Again, totally normal.
During the postpartum period, your vaginal scent will shift due to a number of factors like bleeding, moisture, and changes to your pH balance.
Immediately after giving birth, your uterus is going through a process of cleaning itself out. The cleanup process involves the secretion of a bloody discharge called lochia. You may experience this lochia bleeding for anywhere between two and six weeks following delivery.
Lochia has its own unique smell. Most people describe it as an earthy or metallic-y smell. So, generally not super offensive. However, if you’re experiencing a strong odor, that can be a sign of an infection.
If you have stopped bleeding postpartum and you’re still experiencing a strong, unpleasant odor from down below, that’s a sign to head to your doctor to make sure you don’t have an infection.
Normal Postpartum Smell
After you deliver your baby, your estrogen levels will decrease drastically and will remain low for a period of time. The time period for you will be dependent on many factors like whether or not you’re breastfeeding and for how long.
If you’re breastfeeding, your body requires estrogen to be suppressed to produce milk. Estrogen is responsible for the health and balance of your vulva and vaginal tissue. So, if you’re breastfeeding, there’s a good chance that you’ll experience some changes to your vagina that could include dryness and a change in odor.
Even if you're not breastfeeding, you're still dealing with a complete hormone upheaval that will inevitably affect your vaginal homeostasis.
My Lochia Smells Fishy...What’s Up With That?
Here’s the deal, postpartum vaginal odor can be normal, except when it’s not. If you take a shower, put on fresh clothes, and are still smelling a strong, fishy smell from your vagina, it may be a sign of an infection in your uterus, vagina, or perineum due to any tears you experienced in the birthing process.
If this is the case, let your doctor or midwife know ASAP so they can determine if you have an infection and they can prescribe a course of action to ensure that you get the care and attention you need to prevent any complications.
How to Get Rid of Smelly Discharge After Birth
I get it, you’re exhausted, your body hurts, and on top of that, you have weird smells that are making you feel anything but normal. The good news is that there are things you can do to get rid of the smelly discharge after birth. I know because I’ve been there. Here’s exactly what I did to get rid of the smell and start feeling cleaner, fresher, and more myself:
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Give Yourself a Break!
I know how frustrating it can be during this delicate time to not feel like yourself and then add to the fact that you don’t smell like yourself, and you may start to spiral. Take a deep breath, arm yourself with the right feminine care products, and take care of yourself. Yes, you have your hands full, but you still deserve to look, feel, and smell your best.
Things are anything but normal down there in the postpartum period, but with the right tools on hand, you can quell the smell and get back to feeling (and smelling) like yourself again.
Stay well, momma!
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ACE Certified Trainer💪🏼
Pre and Post-Natal Fitness Specialist🤰🏻
Professional Writer ✍🏻
Momma of two 👦🏼👧🏽
Lover of all things fitness and life ❤️