Pregnancy Safety

Is Perfume Safe To Use During Pregnancy?

Is there any reason I should stop using perfume while I’m pregnant?

Perfumes, or any product containing fragrance of parfum, may contain a class of ingredients called phthalates. Perfumes are made up of combinations of chemical compounds, which manufacturers are not required to list on their packages — that's because fragrances are considered trade secret. Phthalates, which are hormone-mimicking chemicals, are often found in perfumes because they help the fragrance last longer. Perfumes also contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, have short- and long-term adverse health effects.

Not just that. Your sense of smell and sensitivity are probably heightened right now. Perfumes may cause headaches, dizzinessnausea and shortness of breath (like you need any more of that!).

If you love to wear a scent (we get it — it can really make you feel good, especially when you’re not at your best), we suggest using just a small spritz of essential oil. Try something citrusy — citrus has been shown to be a mood lifter. And if you simply can’t part with your signature scent, then at the very least don’t use it during the first trimester. Studies have shown a possible link between perfume use and birth defects during the first 12 weeks of gestation.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Makeover Your Beauty Routine for Pregnancy

How to Go Green During Pregnancy

Is it Safe to Use Body Wash and Lotion?

By Melissa Schweiger and Annette Rubin, coauthors of Belli Beautiful: The Essential Guide to the Safest Health and Beauty Products for Pregnancy, Mom and Baby