If you're preparing for pregnancy for the first time, you may have heard that pregnant women often complain about a heightened sense of smell. Like most changes that happen during a pregnancy, your increased scent detection skills are caused by pregnancy hormones. Experts aren't exactly sure why this happens, but some speculate that it might be your body's way of telling you to avoid certain toxins that are okay for adults but harmful to fetuses.
While each woman is different – meaning that literally anything might set you off – there are some things that most pregnant women agree are definitely worth avoiding while expecting. Here are the top five.
1. Cigarette smoke. This is unpleasant to non-smokers to begin with, so those who don't enjoy cigarettes may want to stay clear of this when while sporting a growing baby bump. It’s better for your health anyway!
2. Bad breath. Whether it's a general case of halitosis or someone you know just finished eating an Italian dinner with copious amounts of garlic, bad breath can be especially grating during this time.
3. Seafood. Fish, shellfish, you name it – seafood has been known to cause many pregnant women to cancel dinner plans or run for the hills.
4. Anything pet-related. From the litter box to dog waste to cat food, pet scents are often gag-worthy for pregnant women. You might want to ask your partner to temporarily handle these tasks.
5. Perfume. Even your most beloved bottle of fragrance might become your worst enemy when you're pregnant. Other peoples' perfumes might also seem unbearable, so consider asking your close acquaintances to tone it down when you're around.