Anecdotally, a heightened sense of smell seems to point to a baby brewing—but is this fact? And if it is, why does it happen?
Many mums-to-be have reported being suddenly sensitive to odours before they found out they were pregnant. The science behind this phenomenon is unclear, but experts hypothesise that morning sickness could be to blame.
Explains Yvonne Bohn, MD, co-author of The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, “Rising levels of estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the first trimester trigger nausea, vomiting and morning sickness. If a woman is already slightly nauseous, a strong odour may enhance these symptoms.”
So is there any way to counteract the olfactory assault? Ultimately, it’s down to managing your morning sickness. Eat little and often to keep your blood sugar levels from plummeting—a common culprit of nausea attacks—take vitamin B6 or B12, and drink ginger tea. Also, surround yourself with clean, fresh scents, like lemon and mint.
Once you’re over the first trimester hump, you’ll likely find you’re able to stop and smell the roses (or your hubby’s aftershave) again.