Your sense of smell goes on high alert during pregnancy. So don't be surprised if your favorite scents suddenly bother you even if they never have before. You may be more sensitive to perfumes and find that some scents make you nauseated, light-headed, agitated, or more prone to headaches. To prevent these unnecessary side effects, be careful about the types of scents that you choose to use during your pregnancy.
Most commercial perfumes contain a mixture of approximately 4,000 synthetic chemicals, many of which have never been tested for safety. Cosmetic manufacturers do not even have to list all of the ingredients found in their proprietary fragrance formulas, so even checking the ingredient label won't help you figure out what you're smelling.
Instead of perfume, try using a lightly scented non-toxic lotion. Some scents, such as citrus, peppermint, ginger, and cardamom, can help you smell good while reduing other pregnancy-related symptoms like nausea and dry, itchy skin. Other scents that may be pleasant include lavender, rose and chamomile.
Another sweet-smelling option is to use essential oils, which are natural, concentrated, aromatic liquids excreted from plants. However, some essential oils are not recommended during pregnancy and can be toxic when used on the skin, so be sure to talk with your health care provider about the types of scents you can use during your pregnancy.
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