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31st January 2016

lochia smell

Something that many women worry about in the postpartum period is personal hygiene issues which may stem from after birth bleeding. This is known in the medical world as lochia. Women often tell us that heaving bleeding after birth can make them feel that they are not as clean and fresh as they usually are, and one issue that they are particularly worried about is the Lochia smell that can occur when you are bleeding heavily.

What causes the lochia smell?

Lochia smell is the odour caused by the blood that leaves your body after you have had a baby. Women are often very sensitive to this smell particularly if they suffer from heavy bleeding after they have given birth. As we all know life is stressful enough with a new baby and we really don’t want new mums worrying that they smell! The likelihood is that no one else can smell anything but keeping your intimate area fresh and clean means that you will not be concerned or embarrassed about this issue. Some women try to cover up any smell with scented sanitary pads, wipes or vaginal douches but we really don’t recommend this as they often affect the very delicate Ph. balance of the vagina, and can also lead to itching or allergic reactions – causing more problems than they solve!

Instead Femette, midwives and hospital postnatal guides recommend simply using water as a cleansing product, there really is no need to use anything else.

Top tips for intimate hygiene in the postpartum period

Women with concerns about a lochia smell can follow our top tips for keeping fresh and clean. So, even if you suffer from very heavy bleeding after birth you can be confident enough to go about your day to day life with no hygiene worries:

  • Use water to keep clean. As we have said above perfumed products are not good for the vagina and simply using cool water on your vaginal area is all that is needed. It’s hypo-allergenic and it’s free!
  • Of course it’s a great idea to shower every day but we know that as a new mum with a crying baby that won’t be put down it’s not always practical! Therefore lots of midwives recommend just washing your intimate areas after you have been to the toilet. The ergonomically designed Femette is the perfect solution for this as it is practical and portable and means that you can keep clean without lots of hassle.
  • We also recommend that you change your sanitary towels on a regular basis to prevent any odour occurring from stale blood, and if your knickers get stained then remember to change them too. In fact you can buy handy packs of disposable maternity knickers which you can simply bin after they have been used – these are great for the early post birth days when you may have heavy bleeding and will save on the washing too!

Women often ask how long do you bleed for after giving birth? The answer, whilst different for every woman, is usually around 2-6 weeks. If you practise our hygiene tips throughout this time period you will find that they will keep you feeling fresh and you won’t have any concerns about a lochia smell.

Remember though, if you do have any worries about your lochia smell or you feel it is getting worse then please speak to your doctor or health visitor and they will be able to reassure you or offer you treatment if you need it.

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