Pregnancy can give expectant moms energy, heightened senses, stellar sex and a healthy glow, but it also comes along with downsides like incontinence, edema, uncontrollable emotions and foot odor. Wait a minute — foot odor? Yes, you read that right. A lot of expectant moms experience smelly feet during pregnancy, called bromodosis in the medical world for both pregnant mothers and non-pregnant people.
Causes Of Stinky Feet During Pregnancy
Many factors can contribute to a mortifying case of foot odor during pregnancy, which can start as early as the first trimester. Some include:
- Edema: Fluid retention in the legs and feet can cause swelling that make shoes fit tighter. This reduces air flow in the shoes, meaning feet get sweatier and the stinky bacteria that feed on the moisture are able to flourish.
- Hormonal Changes: Shifting hormones can influence your feet to sweat more than usual, which helps feed the bacteria responsible for foot odor.
- Higher Body Temperature: Pregnant women often have an increased body temperature in comparison to their non-pregnant counterparts. The higher temperature can lead to increased foot sweat, which (again) feeds odor-causing bacteria.
- Heightened Sense of Smell: Sometimes pregnant women experience no change in foot odor, but a heightened sense of smell that usually comes along with the condition can alert her to foot odors that already existed.
Ways To Combat Smelly Feet Caused By Pregnancy
As you may have noticed above, one of the number one causes of foot odor is foot sweat. The sweat in and of itself isn’t stinky, but odor causing bacteria feed on the moisture, which creates an obnoxious foot smell. Some ways to prevent foot sweat and therefore help cure foot odor during pregnancy include:
- Wearing roomy, comfortable shoes made out of natural, breathable materials.
- Thoroughly washing and drying the feet on a daily basis.
- Using talcum powder or antiperspirant on the soles of the feet to prevent additional moisture. (Avoid deodorants and antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate, as it falls in the FDA pregnancy category C that states it could be harmful to unborn babies.)
- Wearing moisture-wicking socks whenever possible.
- Increasing your intake of zinc, which can contribute to foot odor. (Only try this method with your doctor’s approval.)
Foot Soaks May Help Pregnant Moms With Smelly Feet
Some pregnant women swear by various foot soaks, which can soothe sore and swollen feet and also help combat foot odor. Some helpful odor-banishing footbath additions many expectant moms swear by include apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt, Listerine, black tea, and baking soda.