“Can I do anything to relieve morning sickness?”
“What treatments are there for morning sickness?”
“How do I get rid of morning sickness?”
These are common questions asked by pregnant women. The trouble is, most of the time there aren’t too many people to ask because morning sickness – nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy – is usually at its most intense during the first trimester. This is the time when many parents choose to keep their pregancy a secret, until they pass this vulnerable phase.
There are some acupuncture points that have been studied quite widely due to their influence on nausea. This has led to high-level recommendations for anti-nausea acupuncture treatments in areas such as chemotherapy treatment.
In pregnancy, Chinese medicine recognises that the body is in an altered state. The interconnected body systems that were producing menses every month now need to shift into a different state during pregnancy and then shift again into producing milk when the baby is born.
Chinese medicine looks at how this transition is taking place, assessing if there are areas of stagnation or weakness that may be leading to irregular flow of information and dysregulated body functions.
This means that acupuncture for morning sickness is individualised, rather than using generic “anti-nausea” acupuncture points. We can also assess whether changes in diet or lifestyle factors may help your body to adjust to pregnancy.
You can receive acupuncture treatment for morning sickness at any time during your pregnancy. There is no need to wait until a certain number of weeks have passed. Your acupuncturist will vary the treatment according to your body’s condition, length of gestation and so on.
Usually once or twice a week during the first trimester is enough for most cases of morning sickness. The most common experience is that symptoms start at around 8 weeks, and ease at around 13 weeks, peaking in intensity at about 10 weeks. Some women may experience nausea and vomiting for a longer period of time.
Some women experience severe nausea and vomiting, often requiring hospitalisation for treatment and fluid replacement (a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum). In these cases, acupuncture is seen as supportive therapy to Western medicine management.
If you would like to know more, you can: