Acupuncture for Morning Sickness

Acupuncture for Morning Sickness

Three months into my pregnancy and here I was hugging the toilet, yet again. It seemed like nothing I ate would stay down. I asked some of my friends if they had suffered the same bouts of morning sickness but there was no consensus. Jean said she had never thrown up once during her three pregnancies. Gina was like me – hugging the toilet every day, but said is eased off by about five months and Terri said she threw up right through her pregnancy.

Well, that didn’t help me much, so I turned to the internet but found there is no definitive answer as to why some women experience morning sickness while others do not. Hormonal changes during pregnancy were a contributing factor, but it seemed the exact cause was unknown.

I found that some studies suggested acupuncture for morning sickness was very effective in reducing the severity. The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a study that found that women who received acupuncture had significantly less nausea and vomiting compared to those who did not. Woohoo! I was determined to give this a try, so I made an appointment with a qualified acupuncturist who explained to me that  acupuncture stimulates certain points on the body that can help regulate hormones and alleviate nausea and vomiting. She said acupuncture could help improve digestion and reduce stress. She also suggested some changes to my diet and traditional Chinese medicine. My morning sickness could be caused by imbalances in the my body energy, or qi, and she aimed to restore balance through various treatments.

She assured me that while morning sickness was uncomfortable, it typically would have no negative effects on the baby. She did mention that severe and persistent morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, could lead to complications such as dehydration and weight loss, which would require medical intervention. However, she said I was not in that category, and went about inserting the thin stainless-steel disposable needles into certain points on my body to assist with the nausea. Who would have thought a point above my wrist on the inner side of the arm would help control nausea!

She recommended I eat small, frequent meals and avoid foods that trigger nausea as during pregnancy a person has increased sensitivity to certain smells or tastes. For example, the smell of raw meat triggered my nausea.  My husband had to do the cooking – what a win – while I stayed well out of the kitchen until everything was ready. “Foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates will help stabilize blood sugar levels,” she said.

Drinking ginger tea was another suggestion, and she mentioned how important it was to stay hydrated by sipping on water or clear liquids. I was to get plenty of rest. No problem there – my bed had a magnetic pull during those first few months! Soon all my energy returned and I was in hyperdrive getting everything ready for baby’s arrival, thanks to my amazing acupuncturist!