Among pregnant women, more than 50 percent experience morning sickness. This can be one of the first signs that someone is pregnant. Morning sickness may last through the first trimester, but some women experience symptoms throughout their whole pregnancy. Typical symptoms include sensitivity to smells, mild to severe nausea and vomiting. Extreme cases may need medical intervention, such as IV fluids. Furthermore, morning sickness may occur not just in the morning, but anytime during the day or night.
Studies have shown that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help alleviate the discomfort of morning sickness and support a healthier pregnancy. Acupuncture can be helpful in encouraging the proper downward functioning of the stomach and allowing the nervous system to relax. Early intervention, before the pattern is established, is recommended.
At the Tao of Wellness, your acupuncturist will address your individual needs and provide a treatment plan customized just for you. Using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and qi gong mind-body exercises, your practitioner will help you balance and strengthen your body so you can enjoy a beautiful pregnancy.
Here are a few tips to keep your morning sickness at bay.
- Stay well hydrated: Even mild dehydration can make nausea worse. Sip water throughout the day, as well as electrolyte drinks, ginger or mint teas. Mineral water with lemon can help with nausea. Supplement your fluid intake with broths or miso soup for greater nourishment. Small sips of potato soup can also keep down digestive inflammation.
- Keep blood sugar levels regulated: Beware of simple sugars and sweets that will spike your blood sugar levels and lead your energy to crash. Instead, eat slow-releasing carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and oatmeal and high-protein foods that are more easily digestible. Eat small portions, but eat often. It’s okay to follow your cravings, but be mindful of eating nutritiously, avoiding rich and fatty foods. And prepare snacks for the day that you can turn to for a quick pick-me-up, such as almonds or crackers.
- Relax: Your body is working hard to grow your developing fetus. When you get fatigued, you are more prone to nausea. Working is fine during pregnancy, just don’t overexert yourself mentally or physically. Allow time to nurture yourself and relax your body. Nap, take short walks—especially after meals, practice tai chi, laugh a lot, and get to bed earlier.
- Apply Acupressure points for self care: Here are a few points used to alleviate morning sickness:
- Pericardium 6—located on the forearm about two inches above the wrist crease, between two prominent tendons. This point is known to help with nausea. Some women find Sea–Band wristbands helpful for this point.
- Stomach 36—located just outside of the top of the shinbone, where it begins to curve just below your knee. This is one of the strongest points affecting the stomach.
- Ren 12—located at the midline of the abdomen, midway between the umbilicus and where the ribs connect at the sternum. Ren 12 helps to regulate the function of the stomach.
We are pleased to be able to help so many of our patients enjoy a healthy pregnancy and bring healthy babies into the world.