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Odd Tastes and Smells

I’m in my first trimester, and smells really bother me. Is this normal?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: During my pregnancy, I was very sensitive to certain smells. I usually love the smell of coffee, but during pregnancy it made me sick. Also the smell of pine needles made me want to vomit. Some evergreen trees grew next to our driveway, and I had to run from the driveway into my house. Just the smell of those trees made me sick.

Another smell that really bothered me was artificial orange. I remember we gave our dog an orange-scented flea dip, and it had a very strong orange smell. To this day, even though my son is 18, that artificial orange smell makes me nauseous.

Elissa Charbonneau, DO, a mom of an 18-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter and the medical director of the New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland, ME




Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply:  Yes, that’s quite common. In the beginning of my second pregnancy, for some reason, the smell of other kids’ diapers made me sick.

I work in the sedation unit, and we ask parents to change the kids’ diapers before letting us pt them to sleep. If they peed during the imaging and leaked, they would require more medication.  If I smelled a dirty diaper, I would practically run out of the room gagging. It was hard to look the parents in the eye sometimes. I explained to the parents what was happening, and they were very understanding. Gagging at the expense of using less medication is worth it for the patient.  Lots of the women said that smells bothered them during their pregnancies, too.

I was so grateful that my other son was older and long out of diapers. I don’t know how I would have changed his diapers if he was still wearing them!

Sonia Ng, MD, a mom of seven-year-old and one-year-old sons and a pediatrician and expert in sedation at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Pediatric Care at Princeton Health Care System in Princeton, NJ

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.