Postpartum brings about a lot of changes in the body and such change is body odor. Let us look at questions like ‘how long can postpartum body odor last?’ and ‘how to deal with postpartum body odor?’ in this article.
One of the first things I noticed after giving birth to my first daughter was that my body odor had changed. I constantly felt like I wasn’t smelling nice and it bothered me a lot as there were a lot of visitors who came to see the baby and me. That is when I got to know about postpartum body odor. I did some research and found out that it is a very common phenomenon among new moms and that it affects their self-confidence.
Recently one of my cousins had a baby boy and she asked me how I dealt with the problem of postpartum body odor. That is when I decided to write an article that answers questions about postpartum body odor like – ‘how long can postpartum body odor last?’ and ‘how to deal with it?’ Let us dive into the article without further delay.
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Postpartum body odor and the science behind it
Before jumping into the topic of ‘how long can postpartum body odor last?’ we must understand why the body odor changes after delivery. It is important to do so because it will help us to normalize the topic as well as understand our bodies better. Apart from these reasons, it would also allow us to deal with the problem better. Let us dive into a bit of science quickly before we move on to the other questions and solutions. There are three reasons why your body odor changes after postpartum. I’ll list them all below in detail.
As we know that a lot of hormonal changes during and after pregnancy. After postpartum, there will be a sudden increase in the hormones like progesterone and estrogen. These hormones will result in making the sweat greasier. Bacteria on the skin will fester on this sweat and feast on proteins, fatty acids, and sulfur. This in turn leads to increased body odor.
The next reason for the postpartum body odor is the body trying to balance the water content. Our body would have held on to a lot of water in the form of various fluids, and after delivery, these fluids will have to be expelled from the body. These are then released in the form of sweat. Most often these fluids will be released at night and you’ll experience excess sweating then.
Alerting your baby
The third and coolest reason for postpartum body odor is that the sweat in our underarm has pheromones. These alert our babies as to where our breast is so that they can easily find it even with their eyes closed. This is nature’s way of indicating our little ones find their food source easily. So, it is something that happens right after delivery.
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How long can postpartum body odor last?
As mentioned above the postpartum body odor will start right after delivery. I know that you might be wondering how long can postpartum body odor last. It is pretty uncomfortable to know that we smell bad constantly and it is normal to want the odor to change. But it should be understood that the body odor might last up to a long time due to various reasons.
Oftentimes, the answer to the question ‘how long can postpartum body odor last?’ is six to eight weeks after delivery. But it is not the case for all women and differs from one another. Apart from that, it should be considered that your body odor might be a little pungent as long as you breastfeed your little one. Their saliva along with their puke and stuff will leave behind some odor that you might not like. So, I’d say that the answer to the question of how long can postpartum body odor last is anywhere between two months to six months.
Tips to help with postpartum body odor
Now that we have looked at the answer to the question of how long can postpartum body odor last, we will move on to the solutions to the problem. I have listed the 5 tested tips and tricks for battling postpartum body odor below.
- The first and most important tip is to stay hydrated. When you drink a lot of water, the excess fluids in your body will be released through urine and not by sweat. It’ll help you flush out the fluids pretty quickly as well.
- The next easy tip is to wash your body with water as much as you can. It is hard to take a shower every now and then. So, try a wet towel bath and wipe your underarms and body from time to time.
- The third tip is to manage your diet. Try to avoid stimulants like coffee that increase sweating. You should also avoid sulfur-rich food and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and such.
- The next tip is to use unscented natural deodorant and organic bathing powders. These will not affect your breast milk as chemical deodorants have phthalates and such harmful chemicals that might mix with the breast milk and affect your little one.
- Last but not least is to accept that your body is trying to keep you clean and your baby nutritious. Also, your sense of smell will be elevated after pregnancy and other people might be able to sense your body odor as much as you do.
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I hope that the article has answered your question of ‘how long can postpartum body odor last?’. It’s understandable that you might be feeling uncomfortable due to the changes in the body odor. Follow the tips mentioned above and you would be able to manage the postpartum body odor. I personally found the herbal body washes to be very helpful as they made me feel refreshed while also reducing body odor. Happy postpartum from me and my babies to you and yours!
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