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Acupuncture for pregnancy related nausea and vomiting

For some women, morning sickness can begin as soon as their first delayed period. For others, it can begin between the sixth and sixteenth week of pregnancy however it is expected to improve by weeks 12 - 14.

There are also occasions when morning sickness lasts for the entire duration of the pregnancy. If a woman has an excessive vomiting presentation during pregnancy it can be classified as hyperemesis gravidarum and usually requires hospitalisation and medical treatment. Women with severe morning sickness may require blood and urine tests to check for dehydration, ketone levels and electrolyte levels ensuring safety of the baby and the self. 


What causes morning sickness?

There are many theories but below are a few factors that may contribute to symptoms:  

  • Fatigue or high stress level prior to becoming pregnant. 
  • Emotional factors. 
  • The brain stem responds to changing hormones during pregnancy and may trigger the need for nausea and vomiting.
  • Hormone levels - during pregnancy there is a rapid increase in HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and oestrogen both are thought to possibly contribute to morning sickness.  



Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine we define morning sickness as "rebellious qi" which interferes with the descending action of the stomach resulting in nausea and vomiting.

Patterns of rebellious Qi can stem from a number of factors such as: 

  • Deficiency of blood in the Chong mai meridian. 
  • Deficiency of essence and Kidney energy in the Chong mai meridian. 

Diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine may include: 

  • Stomach Qi deficiency. 
  • Stomach heat. 
  • Stomach deficiency cold. 
  • Phlegm accumulation.
  • Stagnate liver qi invading the stomach. 
  • Spleen qi deficiency. 

What to expect at Vyne Health 

Our Acupuncturists will ask questions about your health prior to falling pregnant and an array of other questions to help understand your differential diagnosis.

Once an understanding of your morning sickness is achieved and a diagnosis is determined, specific acupuncture points will be selected in different locations on the body to help harmonise the stomach and alleviate symptoms of nausea and vomiting. It's important to remember, your journey and your body is different to another's journey, and your acupuncture treatment will also vary depending on your signs and symptoms and health status and history. 


If you would like to learn more about acupuncture for morning sickness, please feel free to contact our Varsity Lakes / Robina Acupuncture clinic. Alternatively, if you're ready to try acupuncture, you can schedule an appointment online. We look forward to helping you gain some relief so your pregnancy journey can feel more pleasant and enjoyable. 



Reference List:

Betts D, 2006, The essential guide to acupuncture in pregnancy and childbirth, the journal of Chinese medicine.