Do you find yourself becoming nauseated when you’re exposed to unpleasant smells?
Your sense of smell can be greatly heightened during pregnancy, probably to help you more easily detect and avoid rotten foods and other substances that may be harmful to your growing baby. Since most of a baby’s physical development occurs during the first trimester, this is the time that those substances can do the most damage. Not surprisingly, this is also the time that smells can be the most off-putting.
While this increased sense of smell can be great for avoiding things can hurt your baby, it’s not so great when it makes you go running for the bathroom every time you walk by the meat counter in the grocery store or catch a whiff of the Italian take-out your coworker is eating for lunch.
One of the most effective ways to combat the effects that bad smells can have on your stomach is to carry around a small bottle of citrus-scented pure essential oil. The clean, astringent smell of the citrus can instantly calm nausea for many women. Small bottles can easily be carried in pockets or purses and can be pulled out and discretely sniffed when you encounter unpleasant odors. You can also apply a few drops to a tissue or handkerchief to carry with you instead of a full bottle.
Personally, during my first trimester, I carried around a small bottle of grapefruit essential oil that I sniffed any time I felt nauseous, whether the nausea was smell-related or not. I always felt as though the clean, astringent scent calmed both my stomach and my mind, helping ward of fatigue and pregnancy-brain as it quelled my nausea. On days that I was feeling particularly sensitive, I kept the bottle open on my desk which seemed to help dissipate other smells in the area. This can also be accomplished through the use of an oil warmer, kept close-by and used to help diffuse the scent throughout your personal space.
Natural air fresheners can also be used for this purpose, especially when room smells are bothering you. (I kept cans in both the bathroom and the kitchen and instructed my husband to use them frequently!) While artificially scented sprays can actually aggravate nausea, natural citrus sprays will eliminate smells and act similarly to essential oils.
There are a few essential oils that may be unsafe to apply topically to your body while pregnant, all citrus oils are completely safe. I recommend grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime or tangerine. Just be sure to choose one that is 100% pure essential oil to avoid any unsafe additives.
Do you have a favorite essential oil that you’ve found works especially well to calm your morning sickness? Let me know in the comments below!