Pregnancy is such a blessing, but first trimester nausea is definitely not. Acupuncture has long been used to successfully alleviate morning sickness, or all-day nausea accompanying pregnancy. In fact, acupuncture treatment for nausea of any kind is one of the most well-studied conditions.
Many of the patients we treat at Triangle Acupuncture Clinic have struggled with infertility and are cautiously excited when they receive the news they are finally pregnant. Fast forward a couple weeks into the first trimester and many are feeling guilty for how miserable pregnancy is making them feel. The thing is, nausea for an evening or couple of days is bearable. Nausea that lasts for 6+ weeks is very hard. Preparing or shopping for food is almost impossible and sometimes, even drinking water is difficult.
We suggest our pregnant patients come in once/week from week 6-12 to temper any morning sickness or nausea issues. Acupuncture for nausea is very gentle, and the treatments are usually very successful. While the nausea may not go away completely, you can expect to have more good days than bad and to have more time during the day when you feel like eating.
We recently treated a patient who was on her third pregnancy, and she had severe nausea with the first two that lasted until the third trimester. Within two acupuncture treatments she was fully functioning, had much less nausea and could go to work and care for her two children. Like this patient, we do see that acupuncture for nausea should have an effect within the first couple of treatments.
Here are some other tips to remember if you’re struggling with morning sickness:
- Avoid dehydration – becoming even slightly dehydrated makes nausea more intense. Try having small sips frequently, eat soups, take warm teas or iced teas and experiment with what flavor tastes best. Carbonated drinks are good if you have a lot of burping but usually make nausea worse otherwise.
- Eat to keep your blood sugar steady – you need to avoid getting an empty stomach so small snacks every 1 ½ to 2 hours is a must. Avoid sugary foods and focus on breads, pasta and potatoes which are more slow-releasing carbs.
- Shop for groceries online and pick them up rather than spending time in the grocery store. Frozen waffles or other healthy frozen entrees are a good trick for having a quick meal when you’re starving but unable to cook.
- Poke some holes in a lemon and wrap it in a cloth to carry around with you and smell it when you come across unpleasant smells.