Smell of Lochia? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-07-2008, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey wise gals,

Am I correct in that lochia smells different than a menstral period? And if I am right, why don't they tell you that?

I just had PP visit with a client last night. She was mentioning that she thinks there may be an infection, because her bleeding doesn't smell right. I then told her that it does not smell like when you have your period, but I wasn't sure when the smell was a cause for concern. (I told her to call her care provider if she was concerned.)

My thing is, why don't they warn you about this? I remember asking at the hospital after my first was born & the nurse just being weird that I had asked. My client birthed at a birth center & she hadn't known before hand either.

Just one of those things I needed to ask!

Thanks,

L

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Old 04-07-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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Lochia absolutely does smell like your period, it should smell clean, fresh and earthy. If Lochia smells off it is a sign of infection.

She should call her midwife and have it checked out!
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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Mine didn't smell like menstrual flow at all. But it didn't smell bad. It was sweeter. Maybe that's crazy, but it did! It was not at all the same and I didn't have any infection or problems postpartum.
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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Nope, my lochia never smelled like my period. It smelled earthy and clean, but different. When I had a uterine infection, the smell was totally different than that even. It smelled WRONG and it's hard to describe it. Rotten, maybe? Gross, definitely, and the smell alone would have been enough to send me back to the midwife.
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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Not your individual healthy clean smells.
Talking about clinically.
Clinically you teach clients lochia is a clean fresh "no odor" just as your menstrual blood. Both are supposed to have the same clean fresh no odor.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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I generally say it should smell like your period. That's what I was taught, and in 8 years I've never had a client tell me it smelled otherwise. Sometimes I will tell them it should smell like fresh raw meat - not something that smells bad when it's fresh, but definitely something you know when it has gone bad.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dewi View Post
Not your individual healthy clean smells.
Talking about clinically.
Clinically you teach clients lochia is a clean fresh "no odor" just as your menstrual blood. Both are supposed to have the same clean fresh no odor.
Menstrual blood has no odor?

There's a normal range of smell for lochia. While lochia might smell "fleshy" it should not smell "fishy" or as another poster said, WRONG.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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Mine smelt very different than menstrual flow, and I had no infection.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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I can't remember what my lochia smelled like but I did have some major spotting at a birth the other night (and of course didn't have a tampon!) and I noticed that my smell was very similar to the natural smell of birth. So I would venture to guess that lochia is supposed to smell similar to your period.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Jesus View Post
Mine didn't smell like menstrual flow at all. But it didn't smell bad. It was sweeter. Maybe that's crazy, but it did! It was not at all the same and I didn't have any infection or problems postpartum.
I am totally with this poster. I have had 3 and it was exactly the same with all of them and Never like a period and I have never had any type of problems with either. this even with using cloth for both, so no change due to product scent. sometimes what "they", whoever "they" is, says isnt always the same for each individual.

Lisa~Was Aspiring Midwife~Now-AAMI Midwifery Student #2020~Mama to Zackery 3/29/96, Drake 9/22/01, and Selina 10/26/03...and here was the link to my new blog
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kimiij View Post
Menstrual blood has no odor?
Nope. It shouldn't. It should have a scent or a smell, but not an odor.

Lochia should smell like a variation (slightly stronger, sweeter, more earthy, whatever--but similar) of your period.

I tell my patients and clients to be on the look out for FISHY and FOUL or ROTTEN odors, and green, frothy, or chunky discharge/lochia. Or anything that their gut tells them is off.

Kelly, mama (12yoDS), doula, RN, and writer.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CookieMonsterMommy View Post
Nope. It shouldn't. It should have a scent or a smell, but not an odor.

Lochia should smell like a variation (slightly stronger, sweeter, more earthy, whatever--but similar) of your period.

I tell my patients and clients to be on the look out for FISHY and FOUL or ROTTEN odors, and green, frothy, or chunky discharge/lochia. Or anything that their gut tells them is off.
I see- its semantics then. Odor can mean the same thing as "smell" or "scent". Odor can be used in positive or negative situations.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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For me, the smell of lochia was not reminiscent of menstruation, but of semen.

So yeah, I guess you would call that "earthy".

Makes sense considering what started the whole process!
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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Birth blood smells totally different than menstrual blood to me. i can't quite explain how...it doesn't smell sweeter or stronger or earthier to me...just different.

I don't recall after my first baby. But then I became a doula and smelled a lot of birth blood during birth...you know, the birth smell.

Then I got pregnant. And I bled in the 6th week- and I remember telling my mw that it smelled like birth blood, not my period. Sure enough it was- I did miscarry.

After the birth of my second child, there was no question in my mind. Birth blood has it's very own distinct scent.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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When I had DS2 I had my placenta manually removed and my OB had his whole arm up in me. For the next 2-3 weeks my lochia smelled HORRID. I almost puked when I smelled it. To me it smelled like when someone guts a deer and knicks the stomach (sorry but that's exactly how nasty it smelled). I was just crying and crying every time I went to the bathroom.

I called in and they told me it was NORMAL. Finally one day I was taking a bath and two big clots followed by chunks of placenta came out. The smell finally went away.

If someone is describing their lochia as smelling off I would have them get it checked out.

Mommy to THREE sweet boys & ONE sweet girl + a newb due in February!  I need a nap. 
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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I'm soooooo sad I cannot cite a source....

...but years ago I checked out a midwifery textbook from the U of Minnesota's biomed library (not Varney's, but maybe Myles or some other British publication) and it stated that healthy lochia should smell of marigolds.

What an unforgettable sentence to read--so I'm confident that memory serves me.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:59 AM
 
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I find that it smells different than a period. In fact, with my first, my lochia stopped at 4 weeks, and my period came back at 6 weeks. I could tell that it was my period by the different odour. Neither is unpleasant, just earthy and warm.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tinyshoes View Post
I'm soooooo sad I cannot cite a source....

...but years ago I checked out a midwifery textbook from the U of Minnesota's biomed library (not Varney's, but maybe Myles or some other British publication) and it stated that healthy lochia should smell of marigolds.

What an unforgettable sentence to read--so I'm confident that memory serves me.
OMG! Very similar! Not really as metallic as marigolds smell... but yes. It did smell faintly like that, if I remember correctly.
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