Why does my body odor change during pregnancy?

Pregnancy comes with a lot of physical and mental newness. Your body is changing and at a rapid rate, which can be hard to adjust to, especially when one of those changes is something as personal as a change in aroma. Understanding why this is happening can be the first step in accepting the change. The most important thing to note? This is your body’s natural response.

A Shift in Hormones

As your basal metabolic rate increases, so does blood supply to your armpits (1). Your sweat glands are in overdrive, producing an increased quantity of a hormone called estradiol, which is the main culprit for underarm odor (2). Because this is so localized, the scent can be quite strong to some women. The good news is you’re likely the only one noticing it.

Your sense of smell becomes heightened during pregnancy (1). Smells that you once loved may make you nauseous, while smells you didn’t even notice before you suddenly can’t seem to escape. Be patient with yourself.

A Change in Temperature

During pregnancy your body temperature rises and you can have a harder time dealing with warmer external temperatures (2). You’re carrying new weight and also working to keep the baby warm, which can lead to more sweating than you’re used to as your body tries to regulate itself.

Prepping for Baby

When babies are born their vision and hearing isn’t fully developed, but they possess a great sense of smell. Nursing mothers emit odor from their armpits to guide the baby to the breast for feeding (2), as your baby recognizes you more by your smell than the way you look. Your body is automatically and naturally taking care of your baby.

Your body is shifting, as are your body’s needs. Understanding the why behind your sweat output and changing aroma can help bring a level of mindfulness to the minutiae of the task at hand.

While the deodorant you were using before pregnancy may not be packing the same punch now that you are growing a human, you can cater to your evolving needs by personalizing your deodorant before, during, and after your pregnancy.

As always, any questions you can contact us directly and we’ll help find the right fit for you. You got this.

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Goldman, Leslie, and Leslie Goldman. “Body Odor During Pregnancy: ‘Do I Smell?".” Parents, www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/pregnancy-health/body-odor-during-pregnancy-do-i-smell/.

“Body Odor During Pregnancy: Causes and Relief Methods.” New Health Advisor, 30 May 2016, www.newhealthadvisor.org/Body-Odor-During-Pregnancy.html.

Image via Chelsey Lea Photography

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