Don’t worry if you suddenly find yourself on the nose when you’re expecting – body odour in pregnancy is really common.
We asked our expert midwife Edwina Sharrock to talk about all things B.O. in pregnancy, and she’s revealed the interesting reasons why you might be pongy while pregnant and what to do about it.
This is a super common complaint from pregnant mummas. There are a few reasons why your body odour may change during pregnancy. But firstly, it’s worth keeping in mind that you have a heightened sense of smell in general which can make you more aware of your natural body odour – so don’t freak out that suddenly everyone else around you can smell you more!
Why do I have body odour now I’m pregnant?
When you’re pregnant, your basal metabolic rate increases along with your blood flow and body temperature. So naturally, you’re going to feel hotter and sweat more than normal. This on its own won’t necessarily cause you to smell more, but you may be more aware that you’re feeling hot and sweaty.
Another factor is the changes to your hormones while you’re pregnant which may have an effect on your natural body odour. Your body is going through some incredible changes and those huge fluctuations in hormones can make you smell more than normal. This happens at other times in your life as well, remember when you first realised you had B.O. when you hit puberty? Or perhaps you’ve noticed that you smell more at certain times of the month depending on where you are in your cycle.
What to do about body odour during pregnancy
Combined with the increased sweating, it’s very common that your body odour will change during pregnancy. Some scientists actually believe that our increased body odour of the ways that our baby bonds with us in those first few hours and days after birth. Certainly, we know that smell plays a huge role in the bonding process which is why I always tell my mums to go easy on soaps and perfumes and to just wash with water or really mild, fragrance-free soap for those first few days.
So, while it may not be the most pleasant symptom, it’s completely normal that you may be a little more pongy than normal during pregnancy. You should be able to get things under control with two short showers a day, wearing fresh clothes and underwear and using antiperspirant deodorant. I know a lot of women are highly conscious of what chemicals they’re putting on their skin, particularly during pregnancy, so some of the natural deodorants and crystal stick options are great. You might need to experiment and find one that works for you, but they’ve certainly come a long way in recent years and work just as well if not better than the traditional ones.
If you’re really concerned about your body odour or there’s a sudden change, it’s worth speaking to your healthcare provider just in case. But more often than not, it’s absolutely nothing to worry about and you’re noticing it much more than anyone else around you!
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Edwina Sharrock is a registered midwife and mother of two. She’s also the founder of Birth Beat – an online antenatal course that is simple, easy and convenient to watch from the privacy of your home. Birth Beat includes prenatal yoga, a complete prenatal course, plus breastfeeding, sleep and settle. All delivered to you in easy to watch videos.