25 answers

My C-section Incision Has an Odor

I just had a c-section for the second time on Sept 24, 2007 for the birth of my beautiful son Andrew. Well my thing is in the beginning I had so many problems with my incision with odor pain so I mad a few trips to the ER the first time Dr said there was nothing wrong with my incision but that it smelled like infection but no other signs of it so he had the nurse clean it up and change the steri strips. Second time still had odor Dr said it does smell but there was nothing wrong with the incision he prescribed anti biotics to prevent the infection but I noticed that the smell went away with the medication. Anyway it's been about 6 weeks and the stinkin odor is back and very offensive I made a Dr appt but my real question is has anyone had this problem? if so what was the outcome I'm curious because I feel really bad about myself and this odor because I'm a very clean person who showers everyday.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Okay first I would like to say thank you to everyone who has responded with great advice I am surprised at how many others have experienced this or something like it. Well I went to the Dr's and everything was fine my incision is 100% healed and the odor well as most have said it is in fact the extra flab hanging over and it has trapped air so now I know what to do :) but thank you again everyone I feel so much better.

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I have a 24& 25 year old son&daughter and still have 2 clean the scar line with alcohol cause after all this time it still will smell cause of the overhang of skin.i am only 120 lbs. Just keep up with it, it will get better.

I had that problem also after my first son. What my doctor told me to do was to take a shower and scrub as much as I could along the incision, which wasn't much, and then after getting dried off and patting that area really well you should try cleaning it with perocide/benadine. That's what helped me out. Hope it helps you too.

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Is your incision kinda tucked in your momma chub? It may be staying a little too moist and getting smelly (think belly button funk). It may not be infected at all, but you do need to start taking care of it so it doesn't grow into something. Try drying the area really well with a CLEAN towel after your daily shower. Then put a little powder on your tummy. If you have a little "hang over" you can even put a little gauze in the crease or tuck your panties in there. (PS...I see this a lot in my new moms at the hospital...don't be embarrassed, it happens to many people).

1 mom found this helpful


Is it possible that you are not letting it dry COMPLETELY when you shower? With my c-section incision, I used a hair dryer to make sure the incision was dry after showers. Just a thought!!

I wouldn't feel bad about the odor, some people's bodies heal differently than others. Your body is doing what is should to fight off any infection! The incision won't take much longer to heal and you will be back to your regular, odor-free self shortly :)


I would not feel bad about yourself at all. I am sure due to where the incision is it is hard for it to breath under your clothes. Did they say you could rinse it with peroxide. It would probably be hard, but if you can let it air out. Good thing you are going to the doc though, infections can get bad if they go untreated. Good luck. Congrats on your little one by the way!

I had that problem also after my first son. What my doctor told me to do was to take a shower and scrub as much as I could along the incision, which wasn't much, and then after getting dried off and patting that area really well you should try cleaning it with perocide/benadine. That's what helped me out. Hope it helps you too.

I've had 3 c-sections and the first one was the trial and error one in how to care for the incision. After your shower dry off and have someone literally blow dry that area. I have that dang belly bulge too and I am telling you it works. After that put a little bit of corn starch on the area and call it a day. You will feel clean and refreshed all day. GOOD LUCK!!

I also had a C Section about 2 years ago. My Incision took forever to heal (Felt like it) and my dr said to keep it dry. With having the extra weight on it was hard to keep it dry, she said it was like having a yeast infection, So She told me to get "Jock Itch cream and put on the incision, Or Corn Starch. My husband even cut up some new t-shirts (Washed 1st) and placed them over my incision too so it would keep it dry, I am not a thin girl so my belly hung over the incision and kept it moist. That might be causing the smell.
So I think maybe cornstarch on the incision might help, It sounds like it could be a yeast infection.....
ALso any time you are just home hanging out and not out and about, Keep the area open (No panties) but place a dry cloth on it too to keep the crease (If you even have a crease or tummy over the incision)..

Good luck.

Congrats on the little bundle too!

Dear A.......find a doctor who will really hear you. Be insistent on your own behalf until your doctor responds to your 100% satisfaction. Your incision is infected. Period.

In the meantime, consider getting Calendula tincture from the health food store. Follow the instructions on the bottle as to how to dilute it. Use the diluted tincture and dab on the wound using fresh, sterile gauze 3-5 times per day. This has helped in many cases.

C. Springer
Certified Homeopath

I suggest you try another Doctor. Sometimes a little switch of doctors helps. If you are worried and there is a smell, something needs to be checked out. You should not have a smell, please follow up. I hope you are feeling better soon, enjoy your beautiful new baby.
G. K

I too had an odor with my c-section. It could be a yeast infection or fungus. They both like moist areas to grow in, like the fold in your stomache after a baby. Try using an over the counter fungus cream for a couple of days and see if it helps. God bless.

It sounds as if you have gotten alot of great advice..I might not use the cornstarch if I were you. If it is fungus it might just provide a great medium to grow in. You said you had pain and odor then was medicated and it went away..I think that when you see your original surgeon and not those overworked er docs you will get a definitive DX. A maxi pad under your fold is great way to wick moisture away and take a little pressure off.
Good Luck

Iam having the same problem has you! i just had my first son he weighed 5lbs 8.3oz. They had to do an emerengcy c-section cause everytime i had a contraction his heart rate was dropping. so i dont know if that is normal or not i wish i knew if that was or not i hope u can answer my question for me!

from A.

I had this problem while i was healing too. My tummy on the left side kind of hung down over the incision so it never really had a chance to stay dry and heal. So my doctor suggested I shove a Kotex pad in there to draw the moisture away from the incision and it TOTALLY worked. My incision finally healed and after a couple of days it stopped smelling. Good Luck!!!

I'm sorry this is happening. I had some physical issues after my daughter was born too and it distracted me from just being able to enjoy those first weeks without any worries. Bummer! Anyway, I strongly encourage you to be persistent with the doctor, even see a different doctor if you can and possibly see an acupuncturist or some other kind of complementary medicine person to check things out from that direction.

It should not smell, as I'm sure you know, and you should TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If you know there is something wrong, keep persevering until some doctor believes you and figures it out! The consequences if you don't could be yucky! or maybe not, but the possibility is there, right? and you obviously don't have time to have health problems with two kids! Trust yourself and don't be intimidated by any docs. Continued use of antibiotics without treating the root cause is not good for you or your baby if you are breastfeeding. Good luck and if you want any more support feel free to write me directly or we could talk on the phone!


I had the same odorand they told me it was healing fine and there was nothing to worry about!O was oozing too. I know it stinks!! And I'm sorry....I hope you're feeling better soon, or someone can help you

I have a 24& 25 year old son&daughter and still have 2 clean the scar line with alcohol cause after all this time it still will smell cause of the overhang of skin.i am only 120 lbs. Just keep up with it, it will get better.

i had a c section with my last child, 5 years ago. They didn't tell me to, but I used neosporin anti biotic creme on the incision cite to protect it from infection as a precaution. I never got any infection.

Hi A.,

Is there a white discharge along with the odor? If so, it could be a yeast infection. In which case you should ask your Dr to prescribe you nystatin powder. Make sure it's the powder and not the cream or ointment as the these are too oclusive and will only worsen the situation. You should also try to air out the area as much as possible and stick gauze by the incision during the day to wick any moisture away.

I hope it goes away quickly and enjoy your new baby!

Are you experiencing any pain in your abdomen?? The odor may not be coming directly from the site of the incinsion. You may have a bacterial infection or unterin infection that is common when you've had a csection. Or you could have had an allery to the medi strips which is causing the odor.

Is there still pain associated with the incision site?

I hope healing is going well. I had a c-section with my daughter and I did get a slight odor at times. Mostly it was if I took a day off from showering (with a newborn, showers didn't always happen). When I did shower I made sure to lift my tummy a little and let the water run over it. My doctor also told me to get gauze pads and place them over it, because my tummy sages and that would increase the moisture. Also, when no one was home I would lie on the couch or on the bed, on my back and let it kind of air out for a few minutes, or as long as my daughter would let me.
Best of luck!

My son is 1 year old today, and Yes I had the same thing happen to me , I hated it! I also had a clear discharge come out of it thats what made the odor. My doctor told me to get a clean wash cloth wet it a little and run it along the scar, let it air dry , then sprinkle baby powder on the scar. Once you notice the baby powder absorbed, repeat the steps agin. ( he also told me to put a maxi pad on the scar w/ the baby powder, but I didn't I let it air out) This worked for me, I hope it works for you. :)

That is an unusual problem. I think signs of infection are usually pain, non-healing (continued drainage or an open oozing wound), redness, warmth or a firm, growing area if the infection can't drain out into the open. Odor alone without any other physical signs of infection is tough to diagnose. Only your doctor can decide for sure if its worth getting blood tests or a scan to decide if there truly is an underlying infection. Hope that helps. Good luck.

I am glad to hear that it was nothing serious... 2 weeks after my daughter was born Last January.. I was in so much pain when i walked.. I mean i was hunched over and i was balling like a baby... I was shaking and my teeth was chattering like it was zero below out here... Everyone was looking at me funny.. So I had my husband call the Maternity floor to see if a doc could prescribe me some major pain medication.. Well they told me that They couldnt unless i was seen first.. So I go in there.. I am still shivering.. They take my temp it is 101.3... So while im waiting for someone to come and see me i keep asking for blankets.. i had 5 warm blankets on me and was still shivering.. Well they look at my incision becuz it was done up and down.. It was infected... So she stuck a long qutip in there and it went half way in... they managed to push on my stomach and squish out half of the infection.. I was admitted that nite and given antibiotics through IV so they could break the fever... than they packed it... So then i was released the next day and then the day after that we had to go back in and they showed my husband how to pack the wound... so for a whole month we was packing it 2 times aday.. Now it looks really funny there..

Hi A.,
I just had to respond! I had the same thing with the little flab that hung over!!!lol! I just used a dry washcloth kind of tucked under it to help dry it out. I am glad it was not infection. Congrats on the baby!

I have had 3 c sections my last one being 18 years ago. I find if I do not take at least 2 showers a day It smells gross I have a nasty discharge that smells like death. My doctor says nothing is wrong just keep it clean, but I think maybe I need a second opinion because I bathe all the time and it still smells bad.

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