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Acupuncture for morning sickness in pregnancy

Acupuncture morning sickness pregnancy

Acupuncture for morning sickness in pregnancy


“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.


How may acupuncture help with morning sickness?

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.


When can I have acupuncture treatment?

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.


How often will I need treatment?

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.


Can acupuncture help with severe morning sickness?

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.


Further information or seeking treatment

If you would like to know more, you can:



This post is brought to you by Lois Nethery, acupuncturist and Chinese medicine herbalist at Ocean Acupuncture in Curl Curl on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Disclaimer - Ocean Acupuncture is a natural medicine centre of independent health practitioners. The views expressed in this blog are the author's only and do not necessarily reflect the views of all Ocean Acupuncture practitioners. The information presented in this blog, and on the Ocean Acupuncture website, is for interest and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for health or medical information or advice. For health or medical advice, please consult your health professional.

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