Having a baby does a number on your vagina, and that holds true whether you've given birth vaginally or not. You may find that your lady parts look and feel different once you've had a baby, but does your vagina smell different after giving birth, too? There's a good chance it might, given all the changes that your body has been put through.
If you're dealing with this issue, it's nothing to be embarrassed about. And you're definitely not alone, judging by the number of women looking for advice on the topic on sites like Baby Center.
Changes in the way your vagina smells might date back to your pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, many moms-to-be experience increased vaginal discharge while pregnant. Discharge increases even more after birth because your body is cleaning blood and tissue out of your uterus, according to March of Dimes. Parents noted that this bleeding and discharge is called lochia, and it can last for weeks after birth.
Lochia does have a smell, but it should be relatively mild. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it'll most likely have a stale, musty odor, and it may be worse in the morning or if you've been exercising. Surprisingly, breastfeeding may also make lochia heavier, according to Health Hype.
Although the discharge and its smell might make you uncomfortable, it's normal and in most cases it's nothing to worry about it. However, if you notice that it isn't gradually tapering off or if the discharge is actually getting heavier, it's time to give your doctor a call according to Medline Plus. You should also check in with your doctor if the smell becomes strong and unpleasant.
There are so many side effects that can be icky after having a baby. It's not exactly enjoyable to deal with weeks or even months of blood and discharge coming out of your vagina, but it does meaning your body is doing it jobs to get you back to normal after birth. Stock up on plenty of pads, pantyliners, and underwear that you don't mind throwing out and you'll get through it just fine.