The smell of birth......??? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-04-2008, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, tonight DH asked me if I'd be offended if he wore a painter's mask for the pushing/birth part of our UC... because he had a really REALLY hard time with the smell at DS1's birth.

Any tips for him that would make him a little more photo-friendly?

Would you be offended? (I mean, I can totally see where he's coming from... it was a pretty bad smell... )

Do you think the smell would be masked at all if I birthed in the tub? I'd probably drain it shortly after and then do an herbal bath after placenta delivered (which he's also kinda scared about... I mean, watching it come out. He said he'd be happy to chop it up for dinner, but didn't want to watch it come out odd).

Anyway, thoughts? And if you dry-land-birthed, did you, your SO, or anyone ever notice the smell?

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Old 06-04-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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I have been to both as a doula, and now that you mention it, the smell of water birth (assuming you are in there for a bit before the birth part) is much less pungent then land birth.

But i kinda like the birth smell in a weird way

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Old 06-04-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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There's a smell??? That would never have occurred to me! Please don't jump down my throat like on the placenta thread, I'm not dissing anyone! I wasn't on the other thread either but now I'm paranoid!

Anyway! I'm learning so many new things on this site! Why doesn't he put cotton wool or something up his nose? Might be more photogenic!!

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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I've given birth 3 times and never noticed a smell... I was kind of distracted, though. I'll ask my DH.

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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There is definately a smell. I generally notice it just about the time that a mama is "complete" and will soon be ready to push. It is actually usually a better indicator that pushing is impending than any vaginal exam would be. Right up with the movements/sounds she's making.

That said...yes, a water birth would dilute the smell. SOme of it would still be coming from your pores that were above the water. I think it's probably pheremones in your sweat...but there would be fewer of them floating around!

Then, too...he COULD hold a piece of gauze or cotton with an essential oil near his face if he got squeamish...but--my husband is VERY squeamish about smells--I would probably tell him to just mouth breathe and get over it. Not that you shouldn't have "consideration" for him...but it is only a short time, and he'll probably be just FINE.

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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There's a smell? :

what is it...like.......a yani smell? I'm confused??
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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He could put vick's vaporub on his lip to cover the smell.

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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It smells like amniotic fluid, blood, sweat, poop (sometimes), and...I dunno...birth!

And as a PP mentioned, I think it is some kind of pheromone or something.

Also if you have BV or any other vaginal infections, it could smell fishy.

And if the woman hasn't washed up or has been laboring for a long time, it could very well smell like sweaty crotch.

Not trying to offend anyone, but this is my experience as a sister, doula and nurse.

Of course, I didn't smell anything like that at my son's birth. I was pretty busy with other things.

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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It is more of a hormone smell.... hard to explain. It is very "earthy" smells a bit like fresh menses, strong but not foul body odor, musk of a woman's yoni, there is a amniotic fluid smell too sometimes that is kind of sweetish to me. It is not unpleasant to me or most women for that matter. Maybe to much feminine for some guys?? not sure. Probably smells different to every person.

when I worked as a Rn and had to help in ortho surgery the smell of sawing bone and carterizing skin (burning flesh) bothered me alot.... I would put lemon juice in my mask or an essential oil under my nose (lemon, tangerine or bergamot). Lavendar might work too, for example. Citrus would probably hide the birth smell better though.

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post
There's a smell? :

what is it...like.......a yani smell? I'm confused??

Everything that comes out of the body has some sort of scent. as does amniotic fluid, sweat (which can change with homones and such), meconium if that is present, and any other fluids that come with a baby.

Birth does have a distinct smell. I havnt found it to be a bad one. I imagine that some people could be real sensitive to it though.

and it does seem that water birth could help with this. as long as it is drained shortly after.

what is it with men anyway, LOL. they act all tough, really, a placenta can bring them to thier knees LOL!

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:46 PM
 
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I remember than lochia had a distinct smell. Otherwise, I don't remember.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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Wow I had no idea there was a smell! I asked dh about it and he said he doesn't remember. Of course our UC was a surprise so he was probably in panic mode and didn't notice it because of that. I remember having him wipe my poop off the floor so certainly there had to be some sort of smell going on!

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Old 06-04-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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Wow. Learns something new every day. Learning that there is a smell some find offensive just sent a rush of embarrassment over me for some odd reason...then I'm remembering how adamant after birth my midwife was that I take a shower. (And I'm like, hello? I"m nursing? Can it wait a minute?) And it all starts to make me think........`
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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I didn't notice a smell at all during ds1's birth/labor, but with ds2 I noticed my sweat started smelling very different than usual towards the end of labor. I asked dp if he noticed it and he said definately yes, he said it actually made him...well...feel like he was in a frenzy and wanted me really bad.

If your dh doesn't like the smell I agree with pp- he should just rub some vick vaporub or some essential oils above his lips, I don't think a mask would really block that scent completely.

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Old 06-05-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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I didn't notice a smell at all during ds1's birth/labor, but with ds2 I noticed my sweat started smelling very different than usual towards the end of labor. I asked dp if he noticed it and he said definately yes, he said it actually made him...well...feel like he was in a frenzy and wanted me really bad.
Way TMI info here but perhaps is related... Sometimes I can tell when DH is about to have an orgasm because the taste of his mouth changes. Is that pheromones too?
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Old 06-05-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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I had two waterbirths and never noticed any kind of smell...my DH was right there in the tub and never smelled anything either.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:41 AM
 
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My dh commented on the smell, but he just said it was interesting and different. He didn't think it was bad. I think I'd probably feel offended if he was that awful about it. Geez, I might even tell him he doens't have to bother being in the room if it bothers him that much.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:53 AM
 
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when my water broke with dd1, dh and ds both thought it *stunk*, so much so that dh was really scared to smell that smell again when dd2 was born. but that time it didn't stink. i don't mean to hijack, but any ideas why? there was meconium in the fluid for dd2 (the one that did not stink) but not in dd1's (the one that did stink).

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Old 06-05-2008, 02:55 AM
 
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My amniotic fluid didn't stink w/ any of mine. They all smelled the same. I actually thought lochia smelled a lot like amniotic fluid. Not a bad smell at all, imo, just different (given you're changing your pads often enough and don't have any crotch funk going on, of course. )
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:01 AM
 
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I have attended a few births and only noticed a smell at two of them. One was the smell of blood due to hemmorage. The other one-- when her water broke it smelled a lot like BO but it was not a horrible smell. Just really strong.

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Old 06-05-2008, 03:04 AM
 
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My dh commented on the smell, but he just said it was interesting and different. He didn't think it was bad.
Mine too. Then again, he mentioned it the NIGHT OF the birth and it would have been pretty tactless to complain about the smell at that point.

I had my parents and his parents in the birthing room about an hour after the delivery ....... even if there wasn't a specific "birth" smell, there were a whole lot of bloody cloths in that room. The thought crossed my mind that my guests probably noticed at least a tinge of odor. Probably a whole lot more than a tinge. But of course they didn't say anything.

To the OP: I wouldn't worry about photo-friendliness, just record the real experience you all are having, it'll be fine. Later you can laugh about it as a family.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:07 AM
 
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Although I made the suggestion about Vick's under the nose - I don't think birth smells bad. Sometimes earthy, but not bad. But it's not uncommon to feel a little woozy or shaky from the adreneline near the time of the birth - if someone was sensitive to smells, it could get all wrapped up as a smell thing, IMO.

I have smelled one bad placenta - the mother had an infection. It smelled like the paper under a steak from the grocery store - all lactic acid-y and sour.

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Old 06-05-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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I remember really liking the smell...my baby was so warm and wet and just had this...aura...of warm, wet, scent. It was wonderful!
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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Way TMI info here but perhaps is related... Sometimes I can tell when DH is about to have an orgasm because the taste of his mouth changes. Is that pheromones too?
I wanted to say something about that, but I was too to. Yeah, me too. There is a pungent "male" scent right before and after....


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I remember really liking the smell...my baby was so warm and wet and just had this...aura...of warm, wet, scent. It was wonderful!
Yes, I remember what the top of my baby's head smelt like before he got his first bath. Very mild/almost not there and sweet. But I think the smell of the actually birth process is different, from what I gather reading here, at least for some people...
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Can you open your windows? Maybe run a fan blowing out the window?

How about a little incense or EO burner, as long as it doesn't offend YOUR nose?
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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I notice birth smells a little - but more so if I haven't been in the birthing room the whole time and then I come in at the end, if that makes sense. Some births are more, err...fragrant than others. Usually a good EO like lavender or TTO work to help refresh the air IF the mama is okay with it. I second the option of having your DH put a scented oil right under his nose.

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Old 06-05-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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And probably way too much info but on the same side of things, my own smell, particularly that of cervical secretions, smells awesome. Just fresh and clean, and earthy. I'm a bit weird though, because I think tangy underarms (women's) smell good too. And my kids' sweaty heads all smell different and unique. And then there is the smell of kid neck....mmmmm. And baby feet....

As a midwife I like the smell of birth: amniotic fluid, that odour of a birthing woman, the smell of a bit of blood (but that one makes my mind race a little when I smell it). Poop is poop, but vomit is really yucky for me. And the smell of earrings really gacks me out, too.

I love women, love being a woman, like being in service of women, like hanging out with women, so maybe women's smells just are comforting to me, in all their variety?

Ok - it's official. I've made myself look weird.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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Wow, i must admit this makes me nervous as im a super smeller, but im supposing i won't care since i'll be the one in the "throws of labor".

I guess make a note to burn some incense (if mama can stand it).

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Old 06-05-2008, 02:20 PM
 
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Ok - it's official. I've made myself look weird.
You've made yourself sound like a really loving, lovely lady
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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well for me its my blood type. my mom is a OB nurse herself, and she told me that anytime she helps anyone with my same blood type it has the same "old blood" smell to it. so it wasnt so much my water breaking as it was the blood that evenutally came out, i felt bad for my husband cuz i'll admit i dont like the smell myself either and its my blood!
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