Strong Impulse to Smell Chemicals/Scent Cravings (sort of long) — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Strong Impulse to Smell Chemicals/Scent Cravings (sort of long)

I know I've seen other posts, at least archived ones, about women who have experienced strong impulses to smell certain scents, like cravings but for smells rather than foods and literally every response comment was about anemia or pica.

     I just thought that I would share my experience in case anyone else was having similar concerns. Since about week 20, I have had very strong impulses to smell nail polish remover, cleaning solvents, bleach, chlorine etc. I never wanted to eat the chemicals but I definitely wanted to breathe them even though I knew it wasn't healthy. After finding myself cleaning more often and spending pool time with my nose close to the water, I realized I wasn't doing a good job of resisting the urges so I spoke with my doctor. I had full blood work done and I don't have any anemia or any other deficiencies. My doctor does not feel there is anything suggesting pica because I don't want to eat the chemicals and pica cannot be controlled by knowing its not healthy. True pica causes uncontrollable impulses. My doctor isn't really worried and I have found a pregnancy friendly menthol stick I can smell when the impulses get very strong but, I just wanted to relate my story for anyone who may be googling to see if they are alone/going bonkers. I have had no food cravings but god, that nail polish remover bottle screams my name a few times a day. Apparently, it's just another weird quirk of pregnancy. So, fear not, we are normal fellow sniff cravers!



Re: Strong Impulse to Smell Chemicals/Scent Cravings (sort of long)

  • omg finally someone like me!!


    i love the smell of nail polish, vacuums when first turned on, like the motor or dust, when the AC in the car first comes on, love my toothpaste so much i want to eat it, love the smell of method target bathroom cleaner, im obsessed with balsamic vinegar with bread. my cravings have been off the wall... i dont know what this could be if i should ask my doctor about it


  • I am glad to know that I am not alone and that it can be normal and not the result of a deficiency or something like that!  I also do not feel any desire to eat anything like this but my favorite smells are cleaning supplies, oil-based paint, car exhaust, etc. I don't even seek it out but when I do smell it, I just want to deep breathe it in because it is soooo enjoyable.  So weird.  I have to admit, though, I somewhat like these smells when I am NOT pregnant!  It is just seriously amplified in pregnancy.  Funny though, nail polish remover and bleach do nothing for me!
    My two littles.
  • My mom had this when she was pregnant with me - overhelming desire to smell and even eat chlorine. (Which might explain a lot about me! LOL) She never ate it thought....

    So strange!!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • My cravings have been ice, which I know is bc I am anemic and wasn't taking my iron, but am now and they are slowly going away.

    As for smells SURF laundry detergent!  I change my shirt just to have that smell, but I am running out and DH grabbed the wrong detergent bc he just remembered it started with an S and not the word and grabbed Sun :(

    I also like the smell of the wood isle at Home Depot, it makes me what to chew on a piece of plywood, but I don't. 

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  • HOLY CRAP. i thought i was crazy? where did yo get the menthol stick?!!! I want to smell rubbing alcohol and new book and lysol. I would rather smell that than eat.
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