Pregnancy is a wonderful time. A time for women to enjoy growth, creation, and connection. It is also a time for women to be extra careful about their health and that of their unborn children.

The use of common household chemicals becomes a cause for concern. And rightly so, since many of these products contain highly toxic ingredients that should be kept away from pregnant women and their babies.

Rubbing alcohol is one such product. So,

Is It Bad To Smell Rubbing Alcohol While Pregnant?

Yes. Smelling rubbing alcohol while pregnant is a bad idea because it can affect women and their unborn babies in negative ways.

However, as long as exposure levels are kept within reasonable use limits, there is no evidence to suggest that rubbing alcohol use is particularly dangerous.

The danger lies in uses that exceed reasonable exposure, such as what can happen when pregnant women sniff rubbing alcohol directly and for prolonged periods.

Pregnancy Cravings And Smelling Rubbing Alcohol

Pregnancy cravings typically consist of sweet or salty foods. Some pregnant women crave very spicy or very sour foods, while some experience cravings for foods that they previously found unappetizing.

However, some women experience truly bizarre urges during pregnancy such as the desire to eat soap or chalk, or craving the smell of rubbing alcohol.

And it is here where the true danger of smelling alcohol during pregnancy lies because inhaling rubbing alcohol fumes directly and for prolonged periods can be harmful to a pregnant woman and the fetal development of her unborn baby.

Effects Of Smelling Rubbing Alcohol On Pregnant Women

Effects Of Smelling Rubbing Alcohol On Pregnant Women And Their Unborn Child

Smelling or inhaling rubbing alcohol directly can be harmful to a pregnant woman and her unborn child because rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol as it is called is a toxic substance meant for use as a topical treatment exclusively.

This means that accidental ingestion or inhalation can have moderate to serious side effects, the severity of which will depend on the level of exposure.

The potential side effects of rubbing alcohol inhalation are:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Irritation of the nose and throat
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death

Smelling rubbing alcohol is dangerous, but pregnant women who do it also put the health of their unborn child at risk. This is because fumes from rubbing alcohol inhalation can cross the placenta and reach the developing fetus, causing depression of the central nervous system as well as significantly diminished oxygen levels.

This can lead to potentially serious consequences such as birth defects, and developmental problems. As a result, if a pregnant woman inhales fumes from rubbing alcohol she can significantly increase the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.

Do not sniff rubbing alcohol

Final Word On Sniffing Alcohol During Pregnancy

Even though rubbing alcohol is generally considered safe for human consumption, the potential downsides of smelling rubbing alcohol during pregnancy far outweigh any potential benefits. As such, pregnant women should avoid smelling rubbing alcohol during the entirety of their pregnancy. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of alternative products that do not contain harsh, toxic chemicals such as isopropyl alcohol but provide the same benefits more or less.

Inhaling rubbing alcohol while pregnant is not a good idea. In fact, most experts would agree that it is indeed a very bad idea.

If you are pregnant and care about the health and well-being of your developing child, avoid exposure to rubbing alcohol fumes as much as possible.