Smell Sensitivity and Pregnancy

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Post natal loss of smell

July 2008

Since giving birth last June, I have lost my sense of smell. I thought it was due to nursing, but she's 11 months now and I still don't have full use of my senses. I'm currently seeing an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. He did an endoscopy in my nose and found no lesions or pollops. I've also had a CT Scan and they found no tumors. He thinks that maybe during my pregnancy, my allergies acted up and just ''zapped'' my senses. We've discussed using a steroid spray in my nose only, but I'm still nursing. I'm thinking of trying accupuncture. I'd like to know if anyone has experienced this type of loss, what you did, how long it lasted and whether you got your sense of smell back. Thanks.

My brother and I both tend to lose our sense of smell due to swollen nasal membranes. He has had great success with using nasal steroids such as Flonase, Beconase, etc. I tend to react to them by getting sores around my nose, so I haven't gone back to using them, but after more than two years with no sense of smell I'm considering it anyway.

But as far as nursing and nasal steroids go, ask your pediatrician if it's okay. I have asthma, and took inhaled steroids (which don't cause sores for me, go figure) through my whole pregnancy and nine months (so far) of breastfeeding. It's not optional for me--no inhaler, no breathing. Neither my ob/gyn nor pediatrician has worried about it. The great thing about inhaled or nasal steroids is that they provide medicine just where you need it, not systemically. It's not like taking oral steroids.

I can't stop smelling cigarette smoke!

Nov 2005

Help! I am about 5 mos. pregnant with my second child. My first pregnancy was really great and unrealistically easy. Well..this one is pretty much the same way other than a few more minor symptoms and this one is driving me crazy! I can't stop smelling cigarette smoke. No, I have never smoked, my husband does not smoke. I am not around smoke at all!! It happens everywhere and at all times of the day. I even feel the other symptoms of being around smoke (which I am really sensitive to in general)like my nose and chest feel ''burnt!'' Yes.. really strange but really annoying and a weird feeling that my baby is being ''exposed'' although it should be impossible. Any other similar experiences? Suggestions? Thanks a lot anon

I had some smell sensitivity in pregnancy, though not particular to any one thing like you are having. When I read your post I immediately thought, ''she should go out to the country.'' Maybe you are smelling the pollution/dirty air that is ubiquitous here, and need a weekend in the mountains or at least up in Sonoma or Mendocino, where there is much less pollution. Try it and see if it helps! jen
I can feel your pain. I just had my first child 2 months ago and I too has a super easy pregnancy but towards the end I developed weird cravings and everything I smelled was 10 times stonger than it really was. I had a problem with car exhaust. I would avoid rush hour whenever possable because the smell was way to over powering. All I can tell you is that it will pass. I noticed that on my trip home from the hospital after having him I no longer had the sensativity to the traffic exhaust. It was so weird but it dissapeared just like that. Hang in there!! And don't worry you are not hurting your baby, he/she has no way of being affected by what you smell in moderation. Gina
I had sensitivity to smell, too, but mostly during my first trimester, and then it subsided. Check to see if you are smelling coffee. I remember I kept smelling smoke or chicken (strange!), did not know where it was coming from, and finally figured out much later that it was coffee in my office. Maybe what you are smelling is not smoke, but something else that is not harmful to your baby. Normal nose now