Becoming a new mom can be an amazing experience. Many welcome new moms to motherhood but no one discusses the postpartum pits. People may mention the sleepless nights and the dirty diapers but fail to mention the long list of postpartum pits new moms may experience. And when I say postpartum pits, I mean ARMPITS. No one mentioned possible stinky armpits as a side effect of hormones and nursing!
After having my second little one I was experiencing this slight change and my husband was questioning why was I taking 5 showers a day. I thought maybe my new natural deodorant wasn’t cutting it. It didn’t dawn on me that my stinky pits were due to nursing until another mom in my breastfeeding support group posted experiencing this. Once she voiced her concerns numerous breastfeeding moms said they were experiencing stinky armpits with breastfeeding. I realized I was not alone and prompted me to do more research.
Experts suggest the extra stench is so baby can identify mom by her smell. Never having this as a prior issue, it can be very frustrating and embarrassing. The University of Nevada School of Medicine notes “Body odor is most commonly caused by the breakdown of fatty excretions from the apocrine glands, which are located in the armpits, nipples, and areolas and during breastfeeding, a mother may excrete different pheromones. Another theory is that the infant’s saliva may also contribute to a woman’s body odor.” They also confirm changes in body odor can be caused by breastfeeding and is fairly common.
This post is not to deter new mommies from breastfeeding but to know you are not alone. Here are some tips on surviving this postpartum pit:
- Detox your armpits: You can create a great detox paste with baking soda and lemon juice. This is a simple recipe. Add baking soda to a few drops of fresh lemon to create a paste and apply under your arms for 10-15 minutes.
- Exfoliate underarms: Exfoliating can help remove excess build up. Try using fresh coffee grounds as an exfoliate.
- Use apple cider vinegar: Take a cotton ball and use apple cider vinegar as a toner for your under-arm skin.
- Try a new natural deodorant: Some brands may work better than others. Try switching brands.
- Change diet: Cutting out sugar and drinking more water can help with your milk supply and help reduce underarm odor while nursing.
- Consult your doctor: Don’t be scared to talk to your medical provider. Your doctor can also be a great support. Always consult your medical provider if you have concerns with changes in your body.
Don’t go through postpartum pits alone. Becoming a mom can be stressful enough. Postpartum hormones combined with breastfeeding hormones can affect your scent. The good news is this will not last forever.