I think it is time to repost one of the all time biggest hits from Life & Times. Hope you find a chuckle in it the second time around.
P.O. vs. B.O.
Sometimes there are women who must have a poor sense of smell or even maybe even a lack of olfactory nerves that comes into the labor unit. And she always seems to have a posse of others with the same problem.
What do you mean, you ask? I'm talking P.O. people. Think B.O. just substitute that B. And I must say I would highly prefer the B.O.
Now I usually try to remind myself that these women are in labor. Maybe they felt like they didn't have enough time to take a shower. Or maybe it began on the drive over to the hospital. I really try to cut them some slack, but it's really hard to do when the person came in for an induction and had plenty of time to shower before coming in because she wasn't in labor. And it is really hard to do when you are assisting in an exam where you end up having to revive the person going into the battlefield, if you know what I mean.
Now, nurses and doctors don't sit around the desk talking about your private parts. We see so many of them that if you walked in with a vagina on your forehead we wouldn't blink. But when we have to resort to shallow breathing and Haz-Mat suits while in the room or keeping a bottle of Febreeze handy it gets us talking.
First we make the pronouncement that yes, Virginia, there is an odor. And no, Virginia, it isn't pretty. And so we contemplate as a group, "Does she realize she stinks?" and "Does anyone else that is with her know she stinks?" If the answer is yes to the second question, then I want to know why didn't they kindly inform the woman of the stench so that she could do something about it? And then we wonder, is it infection? So depending on the doctor they may decide to do a culture but I must say it always comes back as a really bad case of stink puss. I've had one case where the stink was so bad that the baby came out smelling foul, and it persisted even after a bath. Who wants to snuggle a baby who smells like a 10 day old dead salmon?
And it also put us in a predicament. Do we want to say something? Absolutely! But how do you delicately approach such a topic with someone you just met? First off, I offer the shower or jacuzzi as a way to help with labor. This will provide a two fold bonus for all involved. It will help the woman feel better and keep the people caring for her from singeing their nose hairs. If she doesn't do this, then I start hosing her down. When I am changing the wet pads underneath her in bed, for instance, I use that little peri bottle to wash her off a bit. It doesn't work perfectly, but at least keeps the amniotic fluid and bloody show from joining in the potpourri. And when all is said and done, I push the shower. And let me tell you, for as many women who beg for a shower even before they have got out of bed for the first time after the birth there are as many who don't want anything to do with it at all. Maybe they like their stink. Perhaps it's a way for them to make a mark of where they have traveled.
Likely no one will ever tell you that you have stinky crotchitis. So do yourself a favor and take a shower if at all possible prior to coming to the hospital. Use soap. And dry well after. Put cotton underwear on. These simple steps go a long way.