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Pregnancy and Super Smell

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Have you ever noticed how strong your sense of smell is when you are pregnant? Not only did many smells make me sick to my stomach when I was expecting but I had the new ability to smell them from miles away.

Typically, the perceived heightened sense of smell seems to affect pregnant women most during the first trimester and can also accompany morning sickness. The reason for this gift (or curse) is said to be blamed on hormones.
According to whattoexpect.com, “scientists have hypothesized that for some women, it’s this heightened sense of smell that leads to morning sickness. One study even found that women born without a sense of smell — a condition called anosmia — don’t suffer from morning sickness when pregnant. This is thought to be yet another side effect of the estrogen that is flooding your body.”

For me, driving with the windows open and taking in the luscious scent of orange blossoms was wonderful. However, I had to ask my husband to refrain from drinking V8 juice (among many other things) at home or anywhere around me. Even smells that I usually liked suddenly became off limits unless I wanted to spend unlimited time gagging in the bathroom. I had a drawer of scented lotions that I was forced to retire because I could no longer stand the smell of them.
So what things topped the list as the most hated smells by pregnant women? These odors include beans, coffee, spaghetti sauce, fish, and eggs. “According to a 2004 study published in Chemical Senses, over 40 percent of pregnant women tested in the first trimester reported increased sensitivity to the smell of cooking odors, cigarette smoke, spoiled food, and perfume. While there may not be scientific evidence that pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell, the experiences of many expecting moms beg to differ.” (Babyzone.com) Yeah, I would also beg to differ. It happened to me three times. I would start to become panicked if I felt like I smelled something stronger than everyone else. “Am I pregnant AGAIN?” I would think in a panic. But no, luckily, it was just some random stinky smell.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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