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TMI ? (Lochia/odor)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I just had my baby last Wednesday (Quick and easy labor and delivery). Everything is going great, but I have one concern.

I feel like I smell "down there". It's not really foul, but not exactly pleasant either. Kinda like a mix of blood, sweat and something else I can't quite place. My flow is down to just a bit of brown "old" blood and clearish/slightly yellow fluid. Other than my abdominal muscles being sore (like as in I did a million situps sore), I have no pain (other than my stitches for my tear are still tender), fever or other signs of infection.

Is this normal? I seem to remember that I smelled similarily when I had DD, but it's hard to remember. I made the mistake of mentioning it to DH, who of course being all nice and honest said that he DID smell it in the hospital but not at home unless he really sniffs me or is in the bathroom when I'm changing my pad. Of course, this did nothing to reassure me and made me more self concious (I should know better than to ask!!) Everywhere I've read, other than a quick search here, gives the impression that my flow should be odorless like water, but that sounds so unrealistic.

I have a Mommy and Baby visit tomorrow and plan to ask, but thought I'd feel out the MDC mama's who are so knowledgable about all things birth.
post #2 of 20
Are you using disposable pads? IME, these things are the culprit. I cannot tell you the difference I experienced between PP w/cloth pads compared to the chemical pads. Night and day.
post #3 of 20
From what I understand every woman's body has a different 'smell'. For some women it is very strong and others very light, but something involving hormones can strengthen that smell so it seems more noticeable than normal. Does the odor seem similar to what you have during your period, just stronger? This is how it was for me... Or does it have a weird odor? I know I felt 'stinkier' just in general after having DD. I felt like I was 'leaking' everywhere what with the constant leaking breasts, the night sweats (even my sweat seemed more potent!) and the lochia. If you have any doubt that what you are experiencing is normal I would call your midwife/ob and ask them. I had yeast infections not long after giving birth so it might be something simple you can treat.
post #4 of 20
This is one thing I distinctly remember from when I had my boys. I had a "smell" to me while I was laboring and delivering, the babies had a smell to them that was very similar until it was washed off, and then my lochia had a very strong smell to it that smelled somewhat like the birth/baby smell. Not like amniotic fluid because the amniotic fluid smelled like garlic LOL, but it was its own very unique scent.

Like you say, it wasn't foul, it was almost a sweet/sweaty/earthy smell. It was present whether I used pads or had blood coming out of me upon getting out of the tub/shower etc., and I showed no signs of infection or the fact that it was a "bad" smell.

Dh and I would discuss it and we thought maybe it had something to do with pheromones because it seemed really noticeable to us. We're the sort of people that enjoy each other's body smells (Not BO!) and pick up that sort of thing and considering it involved so much during the birth and after period we thought it made sense.
post #5 of 20
I read in a midwifery textbook (that I checked out from the biomed library at the U of MN, so it was a mainstream CMN-type L&D nurse textbook) which said that healthy lochia should smell reminicent of marigolds.

!

how cute.

I think that's one way to describe that lovely "sweet/sweaty/earthy smell" (as 3-StarSystem describes it.

I think the aroma of one's own lochia is personal, special, and wonderful.
post #6 of 20
Well, mine certainly didn't smell of Marigolds But seriously, I had a pretty foul odor down there. I had stitches as well. I didn't have any other symptoms of an infection so I'm guessing it's normal.
post #7 of 20
I would think as long as isn't foul-smelling, everything is fine. Maybe just as pregnancies are different, scents are different.
post #8 of 20
"Everywhere I've read, other than a quick search here, gives the impression that my flow should be odorless like water, but that sounds so unrealistic."

Whaaa??? Oh, no no no. Lochia definitely has an odor, just like menstrual blood, only (for most people) stronger. If it's not an infection, I'd advise just bathing in water every day (don't use soap except on the outside if you want) and if you'e using disposable pads switch to cloth. If you're already using cloth be sure and add vinegar, do an extra rinse, and dry on extra-hot. Cloth can be the problem if it's not just ultra-clean or there's something in the fabric you're sensitive to. Switching to disposable temporarily can help, as long as you change them frequently and happen upon a fairly non-reactive brand. (Try the "natural" ones if you find them.)
post #9 of 20
Ah I've wanted to ask this too!
I think the marigolds sounds right on--they have a musky odor, and that is how I'd describe my lochia...almost like a semen smell...not irony like period blood tho...
I agree that there is a wide range of normal--and all of it is wonderful and a-ok...it's how our babies got here!
post #10 of 20
Wow, mine was horrible smelling. Not at first, but after 24 hours or so it was like rotting flesh. It kept up like that for 2 weeks at least, until it turned yellow/clear. All this time I've thought that was the norm. I was using sposie pads, but even when I'd shower, I'd step out and not even be dressed again yet and still smell it. I had a small tear with stitches but nothing else unusual. Did I narrowly miss dying of septic shock or something? :
post #11 of 20
Mine smelled something awful too. I wouldn't say it smelled like marigolds. I couldn't even hardly stand it myself. It was the same after both of my births. I ended up taking 2-3 showers/baths a day to contain it. It made me self consious (sp?) when we had visitors, but I'm sure I was more atuned to it than they were. I did have a first degree tear with a few stitches and wore disposable pads. If there will be a third baby I might look into cloth pads for myself.
post #12 of 20
I loved the smell of my lochia, personally! It was so earthy and kinda lemon-y. I was very sad when it went away, because then I just smelled like baby spit up and rotten milk!
post #13 of 20
my friend and I were just talking about that! She just had her 2nd baby 2 weeks ago and was asking me if I remembered that "smell"...Oh yes...I remember...and there were no merigolds here!!
post #14 of 20
Hmmm . . . it's so strange. I don't remember there being a smell at all. And I am particularly sensitive to how my monthly flow smells. I don't know if there was no smell at all or if I was too sleep-deprived to notice. Anyway, for me, switching to cloth pads has taken care of a lot of issues for me (heaviness of flow and crazy itch and irritation) so I would say that if you're not using cloth, it might be worth it to give it a try or at least switch to more natural products.
post #15 of 20
At first mine was a strong period smell.

Now at 5 weeks...

It smells EXACTLY like the ZOO.

I'm not kidding. Not like merigolds.
post #16 of 20
Ok...I finally switched to my cloth pads...WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
Totally different smell...much better...and not strong at all!
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs_Hos View Post
Ok...I finally switched to my cloth pads...WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
Totally different smell...much better...and not strong at all!
That's awesome!
post #18 of 20
I have to say that I glad to find this thread. I'd say my menstrual flow is an irony/normal blood smell slightly like pepper maybe or another spice. However, lochia for me all four times (two miscarriages/two births) was definitely the smell of espresso. It was quite strong (to me anyway), and quite noticeable, but not like when you have BV or anything "wrong."

On this note, I have a question, I've just had a somewhat delayed cycle (2-3 days) when I'm normally like clockwork. Flow was odd, first day very slight/clearish/pinkish, second day seemed normal in flow, then lingered for 7-8 days. The whole cycle smelled like lochia to me. I tested several times, but no positive pg test. Anyone else have anything like this happen?

Thanks,
Carol <><
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs_Hos View Post
Ah I've wanted to ask this too!
I think the marigolds sounds right on--they have a musky odor, and that is how I'd describe my lochia...almost like a semen smell...not irony like period blood tho...
I agree that there is a wide range of normal--and all of it is wonderful and a-ok...it's how our babies got here!
: I distinctly remember it smelling like semen - which totally makes sense!
post #20 of 20
I'm so glad to find this thread because I've been thinking how stinky it is down there. I didn't notice any smell earlier, but for the past 2 weeks or so (I'm at 5 wks pp) it's REALLY bad with or without a disposable liner. Next time I will definitely look into cloth pads.
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