Pregnancy is termed as one of the magical phases of women’s life because it is the woman who is giving life to the baby by carrying and protecting the baby in the womb for nine months. Becoming pregnant and parents is a dream come true for many couples. Still, it is the woman who makes most of her sacrifices in many ways, such as sleepless nights, morning sickness, nausea, and even they experience bad body odor during pregnancy. Yes, pregnant women indeed experience body odor during pregnancy due to the hormonal imbalances and excessive sweating. In this article, we will discuss why does a pregnant lady have body odor during pregnancy and some remedies to overcome it.

Is It Normal During Pregnancy?

Most of the pregnant women, especially the first-timers, feel awkward, embarrassed, and many questions pop up in their mind about this body odor, whether the smell is normal. The answer for this is “YES” it is normal that the pregnant lady has this body odor because of the hormonal changes happening inside her body. During pregnancy, the basal metabolic rate increases, which improves the blood flow and body temperature. Due to this, the sweat glands get activated and increases sweat production.

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Causes for Body Odor While Pregnant:

During pregnancy, sensing of smells increases in the lady because of a hormone called Estradiol. The smells coming from outside are easy to deal with, but the foul smell that emerges from within is intolerable. This smell starts from in the first trimester and even continues during the breastfeeding; in fact, the newly born kid recognizes the mother with this body odor. Hence, the pregnant lady needs to understand the body odors during pregnancy to deal with it. Here are some of the causes.

1. Hormonal Changes:

Hormonal changes in the body are the main reason for body odor during pregnancy. The hormones such as progesterone and Estradiol are released excessively in the body, which produces a strong smell in the armpits and genitals, in turn, causing a foul odor from the body.

2. Increased Sweating:

The body temperature during pregnancy increases due to the improved blood flow, which causes excessive sweating even in cold temperatures. This sweat, even though it is odorless, once it settles on the skin, causes bacteria, which creates lousy body odor.

3. Breastfeeding preparation:

The body of the pregnant woman gradually changes and starts preparing for the lactation. The newly born baby will take some time to develop the eyesight and hearing, until then, it is the smell with which the baby recognizes the mother. The odor in the armpits of the mother will encourage the baby to turn the head to the breast for getting fed.

4. Dietary Changes:

The food we eat is also responsible for body odor. Healthy eating is an integral part of the pregnancy, and most women eat a nutritious diet during pregnancy. Different foods cause sweat to smell in different ways. For example, seafood not only affects sweat odor, but it also affects the vaginal discharge, which causes the pungent smell. Some leafy vegetables and cabbage have sulfur in it, which causes foul smell from the sweat. The medications which the expectant mother takes also affect the body odor.

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Ways to Reduce Body Odor During Pregnancy:

The body odor during pregnancy is a natural phenomenon which cannot be avoided, but it can be limited to some extent with the following measures:

1. Bathing:

Bathing is a daily routine for every person to stay fresh and clean. But, during pregnancy, the lady is advised to take a bath two times regularly. Using fragrant antibacterial soap can help remove any bacteria formed because of the sweat. Always use a dry and clean towel for wiping the body. As far as possible, keep your hair clean by washing and shampooing it regularly.

2. Keep the skin fresh:

While taking a shower, take a container full of water and add a few lemon drops in it and use this for bathing. Then take another container of water and add honey in it. This helps the skin to remain fresh and smooth for a longer time. Adding mint leaves also helps in rejuvenating the aroma.

3. Shampoo Hair:

Shampoo the hair regularly, at least 3-4 times a week, to keep the hair clean and odor-free. Try using perfume on the comb so that it lends the scent on to your hair every time you run through the hair. Make sure that the comb is clean and dry at all times.

4. Trim the hair:

Always trim the hair in the armpits and genitals to avoid any bacterial growth. Trimming the hair makes less sweat to deposit on the skin, thus prevents any foul smell from the body.

5. Stay Hydrated:

One of the best things to do to avoid body odor is to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated all the time. This helps in flushing any toxins from the body and keeps the system clean. Excessive drinking of water may also cause frequent trips to the washroom, so drink adequate amounts of water only.

6. Wear the right Clothing:

Proper Clothing also helps in preventing any body odor. Generally, linen and cotton are considered the best outfits during pregnancy because they are more breathable. Always avoid wearing the same clothes after bathing. If possible, wash your clothes separately by using vinegar. Make sure that the undergarments and socks are soaked in water with a ½ cup of vinegar in it. This helps in removing any bad smell from the clothes. You can also use a good smelled fabric conditioner in your washing.

7. Deodorants and Antiperspirants:

Use a deodorant or talcum powder under the armpits and in the bikini area to reduce the smell fresh. These do not help to prevent sweating. Instead, they enable you to smell nice and pleasant. If the sweating is more use antiperspirants which is more effective. Make sure to carry any of these all the time with you.

8. Good Diet:

Some foods are smelly like onions and garlic, avoid these in your diet. Eat more of leafy vegetables and fruits, which give less offensive odor.

9. Vagina Cleaning:

Clean the vaginal area with plain and unscented cleansers, which helps in maintaining vaginal hygiene. This also helps in maintain the bacteria and pH levels in that area, preventing the body odor.

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Advisable Diet for Body Odour During Pregnancy:

During pregnancy, the body odor can predict what the pregnant woman has consumed in her diet. Generally, eating onions and garlic produces a foul smell from the body. Hence it is advisable to avoid these eateries. Leafy vegetables, fruits usually give less odor and, therefore, should be eaten to prevent any unnecessary pungent smell. Other vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage have sulfur content in them, which produce pungent odor from the body.

We cannot do anything to prevent body odor during pregnancy, but this can be limited to an extent by following good hygiene and the tips mentioned above. This body odor should not be taken as severe problems by the expectant mother during pregnancy because it is this smell with which the baby recognizes the mother after birth. But, if the odor is very offensive, intolerable, and causing embarrassment to try the above-said tips only after consulting your doctor. Please feel free to share your feedback if any of the above tips have worked for you. Do share your experiences if you have adopted any new remedy to avoid body odor during pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

Q1. Can body odor predict the baby’s gender?

Ans: No, the body odor cannot determine the baby’s gender. There is an old wife’s tale that if you smell bad or stink, then it is a boy. But, this has no scientific evidence.

Q2. Is body odor a sign of pregnancy?

Ans: During pregnancy, the sense of smell is more in the pregnant woman. But, body odor cannot be construed as a sign of pregnancy.

Q3. When to consult a doctor if the body odor doesn’t reduce?

Ans: Remember one thing that the body doesn’t harm your body or the baby within you. Hence, it should not be seen as a big problem. Before consulting a doctor, use the home care tips mentioned in this article. If the smell persists or if it is intolerable, then consult your doctor.

Disclaimer: The above content published is only for information purposes and should not be construed as a piece of medical advice, and we will not be responsible for any ill effects. Please consult your doctor before making any changes in your diet plan or start adopting any of the tips mentioned above.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.