Breastfeeding is a natural process that many mothers do to provide their children with the best possible nutrients. However, there are some secrets that no one talks about when it comes to breastfeeding – body odor.
Breastfeeding is great for both mom and newborn babies, but it can be hard to avoid some of the unpleasant side effects. Believe it or not, many women experience body odor while lactating. This can be due to a number of different factors, such as diet, hormones, and the type of clothing you wear.
The truth about body odor while breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing. It’s natural, it comes with great health benefits for both mother and baby, but it can also be embarrassing for those who have body odor while breastfeeding
If you’re embarrassed about the way your breast milk smells or feels on your skin because of sweating or body odor, this product will help you feel more confident in yourself and in public situations. The breakdown of fatty excretions from the apocrine glands, which are situated in the armpits, nipples, and areolas, as well as the genitals, is the most prevalent source of body odor.
The good news is that this condition goes away on its own in time, but it can be embarrassing and frustrating for new moms who are just getting used to their changing bodies
Why do I sweat more postpartum?
There are several theories on why postpartum mothers sweat more, but don’t panic neither are anything to worry about.
For Baby To Find You & Breast Milk
There are a number of different factors that contribute to body odor while breastfeeding, including diet, breast milk production levels, stress levels and hormones. If you’re breastfeeding your infant, your body will release a stronger odor through your underarm perspiration than usual to assist your baby in locating its food source.
This is your body’s natural response to assisting your baby in discovering the breast, and it will begin immediately after birth.
After birth, newborns’ eyesight and hearing are considerably impaired, but they do have a good sense of smell, which they utilize to recognize objects. As difficult as it may be to comprehend, your baby identifies you by your scent, thus your body’s natural tendency is to produce a strong stench of underarm sweat that is recognizably known by baby. Babies instinctively move their heads toward the breast to eat when they smell your armpits.
This underarm sweat has a much stronger smell that your normal sweat and can leave you feeling self conscious. It is important to understand that this is a natural process and it will eventually go away. Just be sure to drink plenty of fluids, stay hydrated and eat healthy foods during this time.
Hormones Cleaned Out Through Sweat Glands
The truth is that you’ll sweat a lot more after giving birth since the hormones that encouraged you to hold onto liquid during your pregnancy are now instructing you to drain it out. Your body cleans itself naturally through its sweat glands normally by ‘night sweats’.
This excessive perspiration usually manifests itself at night, thus it may be beneficial to sleep on a towel at first to protect your bedding. Drinking enough water also causes the fluids to be expelled through urine rather than perspiration.
For a new mom, shedding water weight is a top priority in order to restore balance and feel like herself again. Pregnancy causes your body to retain a great deal of water in order to support the baby, but after giving birth the hormone levels change and instruct your body to get rid of that excess fluid.
Your body is re-regulating and it will take some time. Be patient, and drink plenty of fluids- both water and unsweetened tea- to help the process along.
What can I do to prevent body odor while breastfeeding?
There are a few different things you can do to help reduce or prevent body odor while breastfeeding:
Clothing can also play a part in body odor while breastfeeding. Tight clothing or synthetic fabrics can trap sweat and bacteria against your skin, which can lead to an increase in odor. Avoid wearing tight clothes or clothes made of synthetic materials
Try to wear loose-fitting, natural fabrics such as cotton or linen which will allow your skin to breathe. You may also want to avoid wearing any scented products near your breasts. Wear loose clothing that allows your skin to breathe.
It is essential that you drink plenty of fluids during this time, especially water so that you can expel the fluids through urine rather than perspiration.
Not only will this help to flush out toxins and keep you hydrated, but it can also help reduce the amount of sweat your body produces. We recommend coconut water as the perfect lactaction drink.
You can also try taking a warm bath or shower to help relax and cool your body down.
Avoid Stressful Situations
Stress can also aggravate body odor, so do your best to avoid stressful situations if possible.
Stress can aggravate body odor and make it worse. Take some time for yourself to relax and de-stress. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy foods, and drink plenty of fluids.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A healthy, balanced diet will help your body to function at its best and reduce the amount of sweat that is produced.
Avoid foods that are high in salt or spices as they can make you more sweaty. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products instead. You may be surprised what you can eat during lactation, yes you can eat asparagus as a nursing mom!
A good place to start would be by checking what you should eat when you’re pregnant or nursing. There are some common foods that cause bad breath and other unpleasant odors in lactating women so you can eliminate them from your diet if possible.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
Body odor can be embarrassing and frustrating for new moms who are just getting used to their changing bodies.
Shower Twice a Day
Another way to keep yourself clean and smelling fresh is by showering twice a day, good hygiene is essential
Be sure to use a natural soap or body wash and avoid using any harsh or scented products, which can further aggravate the problem.
Wipe Down Breasts After Feeding
Another way to reduce odor is by wiping down your breasts after each feeding with a warm, wet cloth.
This will help to remove any milk residue or bacteria that may be causing the odor. Also, there might be an infant’s saliva residue on your breast.
Use Natural Deodorants
One way to help combat body odor is by using a natural deodorant. There are many natural and organic deodorants available that will not only help to reduce body odor but also be gentle on your skin.
A natural deodorant will also be much better for the new baby. Antiperspirant, which is meant to prevent sweat, frequently contains substances such as aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum chloride, as well as other dubious compounds, claimed to temporarily stop sweat glands and reduce the body’s natural urge to sweat.
Problems with Traditional Deodorant & Antiperspirant
Common ingredients in traditional deodorants, such as triclosan, phthalates (synthetic fragrances), and parabens, have been shown to contain properties that mimic estrogen and cause disruption or imbalance of hormone levels or cause hormone changes.
Using chemicals that imitate or produce an imbalance (known as being estrogenic) during pregnancy or postpartum recovery causes even more stress to the body during an already delicate time.
So now might be the best time to switch to a deodorant that is more in tune with your postpartum body and needs.
Breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience for both mother and baby, but it’s important to remember that body odor is a common side effect. By following these tips, you can help reduce the amount of sweat and bacteria that accumulate on your skin, which will minimize the unpleasant smell.
If the body odor persists or becomes too overwhelming, be sure to consult your doctor for further advice. We know it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to stink, but don’t forget it’s totally normal!