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Postpartum Body Odor : What You Need To Know

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Postpartum

Postpartum Body Odor : What You Need To Know

postpartum body odor

You’ve given birth! It’s new, it’s scary and most of all it’s A LOT! I know, I went through it. The last thing I expected was to worry about smells but unfortunately, I was not so lucky. Smelling myself was just horrible. Add that to the list of things I didn’t know about postpartum. Turns out, postpartum body odor is one of those things that happens but no one really tells you about it.

You just end up doing research and can’t find much on it. That is why I wrote this. I did so much research I could make a thesis out of it, but I won’t.

I will instead tell you all about postpartum body odor, why, how, and what to do about it.

 

Related: What To Expect Postpartum

 

So, to start please know that, though awful as it is, it’s normal to have body odor postpartum.

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

 

But don’t worry, this happens because our bodies are changing and adjusting to motherhood, amongst other things.

 

 

Let’s begin with facts about body odor in general. Body odor happens when sweat comes in contact with the bacteria on our skin. Sweat in itself is odorless but when it mixes with the bacteria on your skin, said bacteria multiplies and amplifies bad body odor.

 

Postpartum Changes That May Cause Body Odor (BO)

 

Increase in Sweat:

One change that happens is sweat due to your body getting rid of liquids. The retention of liquids during labor is normal, more so if you had an epidural.

 

Related: Epidural In Labor: Q’s & A’s

Hormonal Changes:

Because of hormone changes, you may have a stronger ability to sense smells, as in, you can smell things others don’t… Not only that; but your body continues to change postpartum.

 

Breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding may cause body odor, as it helps guide newborn babies to their food source.

 

**This leads me to a common question: Does breastfeeding make you smell?

Breastfeeding in itself does NOT make you smell.

Breasts are conveniently located very close to the armpits so we give off a stronger scent for them…

 

Body Odor Isn’t Forever, It Does Get Better

Although it may be embarrassing and uncomfortable, it’s normal and it gets better over time.

I know this because it’s been 12 months and although I still have a stronger smell than I used to, it’s less funky!

 

So, when does postpartum body odor go away?

Postpartum body odor can last for a very long time or it can resolve itself within the first year. It depends on how your body recovers and goes back to normal.

Every woman is different…

But don’t worry there are ways to reduce and in some cases eliminate this horrible occurrence.

 

Postpartum Body Odor Remedies

Most of what I found out there as a remedy was DIY’ing with spices and who has time for that with a new baby?

No one, that’s who.

So let’s start with the basics:

  • Shower Daily
  • Hair Removal: hair locks in smells and amplifies them; so less hair equals fewer smells.
  • Deodorants/Antiperspirants
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Hydrate: Drink LOTS of water

 

But that aside, while maintaining good hygiene is great. I already did that stuff!

Showering daily, fresh and clean laundry, I practice it all. Good hygiene is just something that was instilled in me so I had that habit down pat.

So even though I was doing all this, I would still smell. But the smell was mostly emanating from my underarms so I figured I needed a better deodorant. Right?

Then I tried the usual stuff that I used before baby but they didn’t work! Then I tried a natural aluminum-free deodorant Jason, which was recommended by a mom I follow on IG, but still, I smelled like a month old garbage bag! It did last longer than the Degree (pre-baby deodorant) but I had to reapply, it usually lasted 6 hours if I was lucky!

It was horrible, I felt uncomfortable when I was out and about and my body odor will get through. The thought of sweating gave me anxiety and just the smell made me feel dirty, unclean.

 

The BEST Deodorant for Postpartum Body Odor

Then I saw this add on FB about Lume! And lo and behold! I went to the website and ordered it! I needed something fast and I had nothing to lose.

It was delivered and I used it the next day!

I was so surprised, especially because I wore it to bed ( I usually wake up smelling funky) and when I woke up… wait for it…

There was NO SMELL!

I went about my day and around the evening I remember that I hadn’t had to reapply and took a sniff of my underarm and NOTHING! Just no smell, bad or good.

Not even the scent from the deodorant, no fragrance…at all.

I have been using Lume for 10 months straight and not once have I had to reapply.

I’m now stink-free! I feel not only confident but I have peace of mind when it comes to my body odor.

It’s one less thing to worry about, especially with a one-year-old keeping me busy.

 

All this, thanks to Lume, the best deodorant invented and strong enough to tackle that postpartum body odor! It does not stop at the underarms though, this deodorant can be used anywhere, from top to bottom!

 

Pits, private parts, feet, and tummy. If it has skin and it smells, you can apply it.

This deodorant is not like your typical kind, as it works more like a lotion, and it is proven to work up to 72 hours. I’ve only tested it for about 48 hours and let me tell you, IT WORKS! I am beyond impressed and satisfied with this product.

Ladies, if you suffer from smells and nothing works… try Lume – they have multiple scents, I use Jasmine Rose and I love it.

I also want to add, because one application of the product is enough I was able to save money.  How? You may wonder.

Well, I purchased my first Lume deodorant the first week of October of 2019 and I didn’t need to get another one until mid-March 2020! That’s a whole 5 months of use! Tell me that your current deodorant does that… Go ahead…

I cannot RAVE ENOUGH about this deodorant. I even got my husband on board for his stinky feet! And YES it works! 9-10 hours later, NO SMELL!

 

Oh, I almost forgot. If you purchase using my link, you’ll be automatically entered to win free Lume product EVERY WEEK!

 

Have you tried it? What do you think? Did it work for you?

 

Update: August 2020

Fast-forward a few months and a few things have changed. First, I am still using Lume, I’m in my 10th month and I wouldn’t change it for the world but there are some things I would like to share with you.

I have received feedback from you, and other ladies and I would like to bring you more information and hopefully, it can help you continue to combat body odor or get rid of it permanently.

What I’m about to share with you has been my own personal journey and what I have been told by my health care provider, that being said I’ve got AMAZING NEWS!

 

Say Goodbye To Body Odor Permanently: Here’s How

 

After using Lume for 9 months I began to notice that the coverage was diminishing. Upon more research, I can say there are a few factors for Lume to not work as well as before.

First, let me say that I live in Central Florida, it gets HOT. I began using Lume in the Fall of 2019 and through the Winter and Spring, it covered and prevented my horrid body odor from making an unwanted appearance. But around May 2020 I noticed that I was having to reapply sometimes twice a day and in occasion three times a day.

 

Why is Lume NOT working anymore?

I asked this question to myself and kept trying to figure out if I was doing something wrong or if perhaps I was eating something that was making my Postpartum Body Odor worse.

And you know what? It wasn’t me, it wasn’t something I was doing or eating. It was the HEAT! So basically sweat is my enemy. The summer is brutal in FL and I was sweating a lot more than before so the deodorant wasn’t lasting as long.

So, I accepted that it wasn’t something I could prevent. That means more applications and voila! Back to total coverage.

 

Sidenote: A reader shared with me that application of the product may need some tweaking. She recommended that your skin may need more product coverage as in more deodorant around your underarm.

 

After this little revelation, I decided to see if there was any way to end this torture my body was putting me through. I had happened to tell a close friend about my situation and she told me something that I think will give you hope because it gave ME hope.

 

She told me that when she went into menopause (another hormonal change waiting for us in the shadows) she too experienced awful body odor. She was baffled and decided to visit her doctor and he prescribed her a topical ointment and her bad body odor went away.

 

I then decided to make an appointment with my Primary Care Physician and I have acquired an abundance of information that will change your life for the better!

 

Ways To END Body Odor For Good

 

Basically I shared my struggle with Postpartum Body Odor with her and she gave me the medical rundown of a possible explanation for Postpartum Body Odor.

First, there is a condition called Bromhidrosis.

Bromhidrosis: is a foul-smelling body odor related to your sweat. It can often be treated or prevented through changes to your hygiene habits, though there are medical treatment options as well.

My Doctor prescribed Mupirocin Ointment USP, 2%

Another factor that plays a part in Postpartum Body Odor or Body Odor in general is your immune system.

Stress is another possible culprit.

 

Recommended Hygenic Practice To Eliminate Body Odor

 

1.Wash clothing with a sanitizing solution.

I have been using Lysol Laundry Sanitizer.

2.Dry laundry at its highest temperature possible.

3. Use a Clinical Grade Deodorant.

I decided to stick with Lume, I am positive that I won’t find anything better.

4. DO NOT SHARE CLOTHES OR DEODORANTS

The bacteria that live on your skin are different from other people (family or friends) and it is easily transmissible.

5. DO NOT REUSE CLOTHES!

Limit items to one use to prevent bacteria from coming back.

 

I also decided to change soaps, typically I go for organic and natural body washes with yummy scents. Upon thinking about it, I chose to switch to Dial Moisturizing Body Wash (it’s an antibacterial).  Yes, I know, it cannot compare to those body washes from Bath and Body Works or Victoria Secret. In my opinion, the change is for the best and I would recommend the same for you, hands down.

Being clean and free from body odor is more important than having a vanilla-scented body wash.

 

After following applying the topical ointment for the suggested time, my Postpartum Body Odor is under control. I did as advised and it’s been two weeks, I’m still using Lume. There have been changes in my routine. Now I shower twice a day, I changed my soap/body wash and apply Lume after my showers and I haven’t had ANY foul body odor.

 

I truly hope this information has been useful and that my remedies work for you and that you don’t have to struggle with Postpartum Body Odor.

 

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Thanks so much for reading!

 

If you have any questions leave a note in the comment section below…

 

All material contained on these pages are free of copyright restrictions and may be copied, reproduced, or duplicated without permission of One Stoked MOM. Citation of the source is appreciated.

 

All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

(16) Comments

  1. Carol says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write and publish this article. I’ve been struggling with this since having my little one eight months ago. I’ve literally tried four different deodorants. Nothing works. I’m going to give Lume a shot. Thanks again!

    1. I am glad you were able to get some clarity when it comes to postpartum body odor. I was on that same boat, trying deodorant that simply didn’t work. Definitely do! You won’t regret it. Do let me know how it goes for you!

  2. I’m a year out from baby and I feel like the b.o. is getting worse! I shower daily, shave my pits daily, and I have to keep trying so many different deodorants. I’ll use them for a week or so and then they just don’t work anymore. I tried Lume and the same thing. Worked for about 2 weeks and now it’s back and horrible! I shower before bed and wake up with bad bo! I’m so frustrated!! And you’re right there’s not much research out there and it’s hard to find help. Thanks for posting this article. I’m glad that Lume worked for you!

    1. I definitely get you, I struggled as well. I am glad Lume worked for me and sad to hear that it wasn’t able to manage your postpartum body odor. I am not a medical professional but there may be another underlying reason, I would suggest you see your primary care physician for clarity as to what may be causing the persistent body odor. I wish you the best of luck, do keep me updated.

      1. Nicole says:

        I tried Lume in the tube, and it worked on and off. Already knowing nothing else worked and desperate (stinky since 2014), I bought the 3 pack Lume deodorant sticks. (Holiday sale!) And that has made all the difference. I think I didn’t get enough coverage consistently just using my fingertips. (I spread all over the hair area as directed, just wasn’t enough!) My coverage area is a stick width above the pit hair on my arm(with arm up) about down to the bra band, forward almost onto the breast and back just behind the edge of the muscle (about as far back as I can see facing the mirror straight on). Since switching to the stick I’ve been totally happy. Very few stinky days but I live in Florida so you can’t avoid it completely. Just a thought, this might help. Good luck!

        1. I agree! I also live in FL and the heat is brutal, which doesn’t help with body odor but reapplying has been helping. I also did apply thoroughly and it helped as well. Thank you for sharing.

    2. Courtney Danner says:

      I am sooo smelly too. It’s nice to know why and that I’m not the only one. While I have not tried Lume, I have been using Crystal brand deodorant. It’s basically a dry salt stick you wet down and rub into the pits after the shower. Works great at stopping the bacteria that makes you stink. Might be worth a shot.

      1. Postpartum body odor is a common thing!
        I will definitely look into it! It sounds like a great alternative.
        Thank you for sharing.

  3. Kassandra says:

    Thanks for your article! It’s nice to know I’m not alone! Unfortunately I’ve been struggling with it for almost 4 years now (my first is almost 4 and I had another baby while still struggling with BO). The Crystal option already mentioned worked pretty well for me for about a year, then after second baby stopped helping. Lume worked for 2-3 weeks. So frustrating as my youngest is about to turn 2! I’m glad Lume worked for you!

    1. You’re never alone! Thank you so much for sharing. We mothers go through so much… I’m very sad to hear Lume did not work for you.
      There may be other ways to help that postpartum body odor.
      There are two options I’ve been looking into and will update this post soon!
      1. Chemical/ Laser Peel (Spa Service)
      2. Go to Your Primary Care Doctor ( may be a bacterial infections that causes the odor)

      I hope for the best! Do keep me updated!

      Good luck mama ❤️

      1. Vanessa says:

        Thank you so much for sharing. Truly the is no much information about this. I gave birth 3 months ago , notice that already and I was so worried and afraid. This has brought relief to my mind. Thank God for this article. God bless you

        1. It’s a great thing to be able to help others, if only with information. I have an appointment with my primary care physician and will update this article.

  4. Amanda says:

    I’ve been using Lume for over a year, but it hasn’t been nearly as effective since I had my 2nd baby 7 months ago. My underarms get smelliest during breastfeeding, and as long as they stay moist after that (which in the humidity where I live is most of the day), at least one side smells like old onion. I have to wash my pits midday and reapply, and that’s not always feasible. It’s not lasting me 12 hrs, let alone 72! I follow Lume’s laundering directions about treating the underarm part of my shirt sleeves with enzyme cleaner, and I shave my pits regularly. I’m beginning to think that even Lume doesn’t cut it, at least not in the environment in which I live.
    Anyone else still having trouble despite using Lume? Any suggestions for alleviating the situation besides what Lume suggests for maximum efficacy?

    1. Hello Amanda! Thank you for sharing.

      I have noticed that as well. I began using Lume in Autumn and continued through Winter and now I’m in the summertime and the actual deodorant is NOT as effective as it was before but I believe it is the moisture and humidity as well as my increase in sweat. I have to apply the deodorant twice for maximum coverage but I am still satisfied as it does protect from odor.
      Another alternative which I will be researching is either a
      1. chemical/laser peel or 2. Doctor visit (to see if there is an underlying issue).
      I would recommend you do the same.

      Also, do keep me updated.

  5. Christina Possa says:

    Hello! Do you know if the BO lessens after ceasing breastfeeding?

    1. I am still nursing my daughter, the frequency has lessened yet my body odor has stayed the same. I will be updating this article soon… stay tuned.

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About Author

Génesis is the founder and content creator for One Stoked Mom. A first time SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) who shares her experience through motherhood. When she isn’t caring for her daughter, she enjoys reading romance novels, ‘munching’ on dark chocolate pretzels and drinking a hot cup of coffee... She is currently working on her YouTube Channel, GenesisHere.

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