Help! Why Do I Have Smelly Feet In Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, there is the pregnancy glow, the thicker hair, stronger nails, and increased sex drive. However there are also some potential (and smelly) down sides- one including smelly feet. Very smelly feet.

A lot of expectant moms experience smelly feet during pregnancy, called bromodosis in the medical world for both pregnant mothers and non-pregnant people. But what causes it? And even more importantly, how do we prevent it?

Many factors can contribute to smelly feet during pregnancy, which can start as early as the first trimester!

Edema can contribute to the smell/ odor of feet during pregnancy. 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.

Shifting hormones can influence your feet to sweat more than usual, which helps feed the bacteria responsible for foot odor.

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 feeds odor-causing bacteria.

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.

Luckily for us, there are many different ways to easily combat smelly feet during pregnancy! It can be harder for you to bend over and take care of your feet when you have a growing belly but there are pregnancy safe methods for getting your toes back to their pre-pregnancy glory!

  1. Foot baths

Double win for this one- who does love a relaxing footbath? Throw in some Epsom salt and lavender for the ultimate spa experience. Regular foot baths ensure that bacteria don’t grow and keep your feet clean even if you can’t see them over your belly all the time!

  1. Cotton socks

Cotton socks are the most breathable socks you can find with synthetic and polyester socks guaranteeing increased foot sweat. If your feet are sweaty and smelly try picking purely cotton socks for a month and check back in with your partner about the smell (or lack of it!)

  1. Loose, breathable shoes

If your feet smell, definitely try and wear open, leather or fabric shoes- steer clear of plastics or fake leather! If possible, try and order a half size to a size bigger when shopping for your comfortable anti-smell pregnancy shoes. The more air around your feet the better!

  1. Ditch the fleece lined slippers

Fleece lined sneakers mean sweat lined feet! If your feet are more sweaty or smelly than usual, ditch the warm winter slippers. Try opting for breathable open toe shoes or cotton sleep socks if you like to cover your feet around the house.

  1. Peppermint oil rubs

Peppermint foot rubs feel the best and have the best results! In addition to feeling like an absolute luxury, oils, most particularly peppermint have strong odor combatting powers. Get your partner or even your best friend (who loves you enough to endure that smell!) to rub your toes every once in a while. It’ll feel amazing for you and make them able to breathe again!

Shoshi S.
Shoshi is a graduate from Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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