Only the Nose Knows: Why does your sense of smell change during pregnancy?

Welcome to your pregnancy — an unforgettable life experience that boasts such gifts as a radiant glow, a luxurious mane of hair, and… the strongest, most off-putting smells your nose has likely ever sniffed!

Indeed, increased olfactory powers seem to be a rite of passage for pregnant women. Scents that you once considered favorites may seriously offend you now. And what you previously thought smelled horrible can now seem virtually unbearable. Why exactly this takes place remains a major quandary, both inside and out of the biology lab.

Issues of heightened sense in pregnant women continue to challenge the scientific community.  There is no conclusive, scientific explanation (as of yet) for why sense of smell changes dramatically during pregnancy. Medical professionals remain unaware how precisely estrogen prompts a heightening of the sense.

Yet in one 2004 longitudinal study, European researchers hypothesized that a boost in smelling ability presented a biological advantage for pregnant women: the odor sensitivity could potentially discourage women from foods with chemicals or substances that could do harm to baby. However, further study later proved this hypothesis false.

What do we know, then, about why smell affects pregnant women in particular? An enhanced sense of smell can often signal a new pregnancy. It is one of the first signs that change in happening within a woman’s body, caused by a rapid boost in estrogen levels. And although pregnant women may notice stronger smell throughout their pregnancies, those in the first trimester seem most impacted by it. (Extreme sensitivity of smell levels off by the second trimester for most women.)

You may want to steer clear of artificial fragrances when pregnant, especially during those first three months. Non-natural scents can provoke sensitivity and irritation on pregnant women’s more tender skin. Depending on your experiences with child, artificial scent could provoke nausea and discomfort much more than natural or organic alternatives.

Exercise scrutiny in your pregnancy wellness products. Even beautifully packaged shampoos and creams may use artificial scents that not only could cause you to be nauseous but also may contain harmful chemicals such as phthalates.

At Nine Naturals, we’ve artfully created our proprietary fragrances around a pregnant woman’s sensitive nose. Designed by our founder, Grace and an expert perfumer, each of our products features natural fragrances that are both gentle on your nose and beneficial for your sense of well-being.

Turn to our Restorative Conditioner to spoil your hair with ginger root extract, long admired for its capacity to soothe morning sickness. Lemon and lime’s clean, fresh scents can help to neutralize your feelings of nausea, reduce inflammation, and brighten your outlook. Sniff them out in our Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner.

Peppermint also enhances our haircare line. We include the minty oil for its properties that combat morning sickness and exhaustion.

Because geranium oil is known to help bring equilibrium to your hormones and state of being, we naturally included it in our Soothing Body Wash, as well as in our Regenerative Belly Butter. Last but not least: our Belly Butter also features a natural vanilla extract, a scent which can calm you as it brings about warm thoughts of home and loved ones.

Which of Nine Naturals’ wide array of all-natural fragrances is your favorite?