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Why do I have body odor when I'm breastfeeding?

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, as well as the genitals. During breastfeeding, a mother may excrete different pheromones -- one theory is that these pheromones act as a way of communicating with the newborn and help with feeding and bonding. Another theory is that the infant's saliva may also contribute to a woman's body odor. While such changes in body odor due to breastfeeding are fairly common, they can easily be managed with washing and deodorants.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.