Before you have a baby, your vagina is an organ that you don't really think or talk about too much. But after you give birth, you're immediately forced to give it a little more thought. In fact, your lady parts are going to be the main topic of conversation at your doctor's visits for the next few months. You're probably already expecting that things will look and feel different down there once your baby arrives. But you may be wondering how things should smell. You may have even asked, "how is my vagina supposed to smell postpartum?"
You're going to have to give your vagina a whole lot of love once your baby arrives, particularly if you've had a vaginal delivery. You should expect to experience bleeding and soreness for a few weeks after giving birth, according to The Bump. For this reason, it will be in your best interest to have an abundant supply of super absorbent maxi pads and ice on hand for a while.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, you should also be prepared to expect lochia, a vaginal discharge that appears after a vaginal delivery, for the first six weeks postpartum. Lochia is made up of blood and tissue shed from the uterine lining. It generally has the same stale, musty smell of menstrual discharge and will change from dark red to yellowish in color over the first two weeks after your baby arrives. You'll notice the discharge most first thing in the morning, after exercise, and while you breastfeed.
If you find that your lochia smells especially foul or is accompanied by fever or chills, you should contact your doctor to be sure that you don't have an infection, according to Baby Center.
Keeping your perineum clean is an important way to avoid infection in the area, as the Cleveland Clinic suggested. Spraying the area with warm water after urination and changing your maxi pads every four to six hours can help keep bacteria at bay, according to What To Expect. And as always, be sure to let your doctor know if you notice anything out of the ordinary.