Heightened Sense of Smell During Pregnancy – How To Deal With It?

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Heightened Sense Of Smell during pregnancy

Once you realize that you are pregnant, your life undergoes a complete change. Nothing seems the same anymore, be it your taste buds, your appearance and or even your sense of smell. You suddenly discover that you are extremely sensitive to various smells that earlier you were not even aware of. You realize that you have developed a super smelling power and become totally perplexed about how to deal with this.

Relax as this is one of the earliest indications that you are pregnant and it’s just your hormones playing havoc that triggers this heightened sense of smell that confuses you and makes you feel extremely uncomfortable. Continue reading this article to know all about heightened sense of smell during pregnancy and ways to deal with it.

In This Article

What Heightens the Sense of Smell During Pregnancy?

As mentioned above, the culprit is of course those horrible pregnancy hormones especially estrogen and increased levels of HCG that alter the way your system identifies various smells. Another most common and dreaded indication of pregnancy, morning sickness is mostly triggered due to this heightened sense of smell that you develop during this phase.

Nature plays its role by way of morning sickness to ensure that you and your baby are safe from dangerous pathogens. So, if your newfound sense of smell is bothering you, just remember that your nose is working overtime to ensure that you have a safe pregnancy.

Simple Tips to Deal With a Heightened Sense Smells During Pregnancy

Sniff the Good Stuff

Given below are some simple tips that can help you deal with this super sense of smell:

1. Eat What Smells Good

A lot of smells seem quite good and tempting too during this period. This is surely a blessing as you can atleast indulge in foods that smell good and are tempting to your nose and palette. Even though you will discover this through trial and error method, just ensure that you cook things that you crave for and avoid foods that smell repelling to you.

[Read : Top 8 Ways To Deal With Food Cravings During Pregnancy]

2. Keep Extra Clean

Making cleanliness a habit during this period is sure to help a long way in dealing with the heightened sense of smell during pregnancy. Ensure you do not stack up clothes for washing and clean your home regularly. Keeping yourself and your home clean will go a long way in averting unwanted odors from bothering you.

3. Sniff the Good Stuff

Find out what smells make you feel good and pleasant. Some pleasant odors like ginger, lime, lavender, mint and a lot of these herb varieties smell quite good for most people even during pregnancy. Make sure you keep stock of these goods so that you can inhale their pleasant fragrance whenever you feel nauseous.

4. Let Fresh Air In

Even though there may be some smells that make you extremely nauseous while you are cooking, you can try opening windows and letting fresh air seep in so the horrid pungent odors are lessened thus helping you feel better. Letting fresh air inside also helps to get rid of stuffy and stale odors that are lurking in different corners of your home.

5. Be Patient

Suppose you discover that nothing works, the only option is to be patient and wait till your raging pregnancy hormones finally settle down and bring you back to a state of normalcy. Avoid odors that you can’t stand and then patiently wait till you overcome this heightened sense of smell during pregnancy.

[Read : How To Get Rid Of Body Odor During Pregnancy?]

Smells to Avoid During Pregnancy

avoid Cigarette Smoke

Now there are indeed some smells that you need to avoid during this period as they may turn harmful for you and the little life growing within you. Given below are some smells that you need to steer clear of during this sensitive period:

1. Cigarette Smoke

Majority of pregnant women develop a strong aversion to the smell of cigarette smoke and this is of course something that you surely need to avoid during this period. If your hubby is a smoker, this is a wonderful excuse to try and get him out of his smoking habit.

2. Unhygienic and Stuffy Joints

There are some odors that are absolutely unpleasant and can gag you regardless of your condition. So these places need to be avoided especially during pregnancy. Avoid going near garbage piles and stuffy joints that will make you nauseous and uncomfortable.

3. Laundry

This is yet another odor that will make you extremely nauseous during pregnancy. However, you cannot just avoid laundry and the best alternative is switching to laundry powders that are free of any odors.

4. Foods That Have Pungent Odors

It is advisable to steer clear of cooking foods that have pungent odors like eggs, fish, beans and some varieties of cheese. They are some of the most common culprits that trigger morning sickness in most moms to be.

Hope these simple tips will help you deal with this heightened sense of smell that plagues you during pregnancy. Just remember to not let it bother you because the good news is that it is just a phase and it will soon wane off as your pregnancy progresses and vanish completely after you give birth to your little darling.

Did the heightened sense of smell bother you during pregnancy? How did you deal with it? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

Read Also: Bad Breath During Pregnancy – How To Deal With It


1. What Week Does Heightened Sense of Smell Start in Pregnancy?

Heightened sense of smell usually starts during first trimester for most pregnant women. This can be an early sign of pregnancy.

 2. When Does Heightened Sense of Smell go Away?

Usually this heightened sense of smell starts to subside or go away toward the end of first trimester. Although for many women it may diminish by the end of pregnancy as well. So once you deliver the baby, the sensitivity to smells should go away.

3. What Hormone Causes Smell Sensitivity?

Estrogen is the hormone responsible for sensitivity to smells during pregnancy.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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