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Acupuncture for Morning Sickness Relief

Many women experience nausea and/or vomiting during their pregnancy.  Despite the name, morning sickness, can strike at different times of the day or night.  The severity can vary greatly from mild nausea to the inability to eat at all with regular vomiting.  Usually morning sickness resolves around 11 weeks; however some women may experience the symptoms throughout their pregnancy.

A traditional acupuncture approach

Traditional Chinese Medicine classifies morning sickness into different patterns and then treats them accordingly with a slightly different choice of acupuncture points to target the pattern specifically.  Your acupuncturist may ask about when the sensation occurs, what the sensation is like, what triggers it, what makes it better and what your general health is like to determine the treatment that will work best for you.

We have found that acupuncture is usually very effective at managing (if not, resolving) the symptoms of morning sickness.  Morning sickness acupuncture is usually done as a course of weekly or twice weekly treatment.  We can also teach you acupressure techniques and dietary recommendations that you can use between treatments to reduce your symptoms. 

A study of 593 pregnant women (at under 14 gestational weeks) with nausea and/or vomiting were divided into four groups for treatment:

  1. Traditional acupuncture group (TA).  (This is what we do at HealthWise Clinic.)
  2. Single point acupuncture group (PC6)
  3. Sham acupuncture group (SA)
  4. No acupuncture treatment group (NA)

The treatments were conducted twice per week in the first week, followed by four weekly treatments.  The traditional acupuncture group (TA) was superior to the other groups and had less nausea for the study and less dry retching from week two. "Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomised trial." Birth. 29(1):1-9


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