Body changes are normal during the nine months that you are carrying your baby, but so are changes that you can't see. We are all aware of the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy: strange cravings, morning sickness, exhaustion, sore breasts and even headaches, but not many mums-to-be know that it can actually affect your sense of smell.

 

If you have started to experience a heightened sense of smell as you journey through pregnancy, here is what you need to know about it: 

 

Why does it happen?

The female sex hormone oestrogen rises during pregnancy and is at its highest level in the first three months. The increase of this hormone in your body can cause your sense of smell to become heightened. It is important to remember that not everyone will notice any changes so don't worry if you haven't found your nose has become as sensitive as a bloodhound. 

 

How will it affect you?

It shouldn't affect you too much although with a heightened sense of smell, various odours like perfume or cooking can make you feel nauseous. Add this to your morning sickness and you are sure to have a very unpleasant time. The good news is that it should pass by the time you reach your second trimester, or at least before your baby is born. However, every expectant woman is different and they may not be affected by the changes at all.

 

What you can do about it

The best thing you can do about it is to avoid smells that make you feel queasy. Obviously you won’t be able to avoid every single odour that sets you off, but steering clear of perfumes, asking family members to limit sprays or use unscented ones, keeping your windows in your home open so smells can escape quickly and lighting a scented candle – as long as it doesn’t make you feel worse - can get rid of nasty aromas. You should also wash your clothes more often as smells can linger on them – make sure you choose a detergent that won’t make you feel any worse.

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