But also, let's clear the air (no pun intended) on something: Yes, body odor can change or worsen during pregnancy . But, your much-more-sensitive pregnancy nose is also picking up more smells — so don't be too hard on yourself! When you're pregnant , your body's blood supply increases by up to 50 percent .
Lochia (vaginal discharge)
Lochia is the vaginal discharge you have after a vaginal delivery. It has a stale, musty odor like menstrual discharge. Lochia for the first 3 days after delivery is dark red in color. A few small blood clots, no larger than a plum, are normal.
Your postpartum recovery won't be just a few days. Fully recovering from pregnancy and childbirth can take months. While many women feel mostly recovered by 6-8 weeks , it may take longer than this to feel like yourself again. During this time, you may feel as though your body has turned against you.
Some women develop a stronger sense of smell during pregnancy . Many develop an aversion to strong food odors, such as poultry or seafood. A smaller percentage of women begin picking up on their own scent, which can be embarrassing.
If you're nursing your baby, your body will emit a stronger smell through your underarm sweat than normal to help your baby find its source of food (2). This is your body's response to naturally assist your baby in finding the breast, and will begin right after giving birth.
After childbirth, your estrogen levels drop drastically , though not as much as progesterone. This relative drop in estrogen from what they were during pregnancy brings about a lot of mood changes in postpartum. Hormonal changes could induce more vaginal discharge that could be smelly.
APPLY APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, LEMON JUICE OR WITCH HAZEL
Remove body odor naturally by dousing or washing affected areas with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or witch hazel. These kitchen and medicine-cabinet home remedies contain antiseptic properties that kill bacteria and balance the pH level of your skin.
Vaginal blood loss is often associated with a slight metallic smell . This might continue for six to eight weeks after childbirth. This is the stuff your uterus keeps shedding after birth. But if the mild odor smells strong and foul, it could be due to an infection or tears in your vagina during the birthing process.
Symptoms of Postpartum Uterine Infections
Symptoms of uterine infections commonly include pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis , fever (usually within 1 to 3 days after delivery), paleness, chills, a general feeling of illness or discomfort, and often headache and loss of appetite. The heart rate is often rapid.
'Foul smelling lochia with a fishy smell or greenish lochia can be an indication of contamination or infection . Report this to a health care professional immediately,' warns Sharon. 'It can be treated by a course of antibiotics.
Your vagina's pH levels change
A change or increase in odor — while likely occurring because of your fluctuating hormones — may also seem more pungent to you because your olfactory senses are also heightened during pregnancy .
Why? Because as strange as it might sound, moms-to-be are known to have an uncanny sense of smell—in fact, it's often one of the first signs of pregnancy. So if you're suddenly gagging at the scent of garlic or ground beef (or can't even stomach a simple stroll through the grocery store), you might just be expecting.
In most cases, an unusual ammonia-like vaginal smell during pregnancy is caused by changes in urine. This can be due to lifestyle factors, such as dietary preferences, dehydration, and supplement use. What a person eats and drinks during pregnancy can affect the smell of their urine.
Hormonal changes - Increased quantities of the hormone estradiol is what heightens your sense of smell, and it's what makes your body produce a strong smell. The main areas affected are your genitals and armpits. That could be why you feel offended by your own body odor.