What is Morning Sickness?
Research indicates that up to 80% of pregnant women get morning sickness during pregnancy. For most women, nausea (and vomiting) starts after 6-7 weeks pregnant, peaking during weeks 9-10. During morning sickness, you may experience anything from a feeling of queasiness with a loss of appetite to intense vomiting to the point of dehydration and everything in between. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy usually pass by week 14, after which most women experience a renewed sense of energy and well-being.
There are three main reasons why nausea and vomiting occur during pregnancy:
- Your body is responding to the increased hormones levels
- Your blood sugars are fluctuating with the pregnancy
- Your body is deficient in B vitamins and zinc
The good news is that morning sickness is a sign that you’re producing human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is made as the embryo develops. It can be seen as a sign that everything is going as it should be. However, around 1% of women who are pregnant experience hyperemesis gravidarum, which involves severe vomiting, weight loss and dehydration. If you're ever been concerned about your pregnancy or feel more sick than you think is normal, don't hesitate to consult a doctor or your midwife.
How Chinese Medicine can Help
Acupuncture treatments 1-2 times a week have been shown to alleviate nausea and vomiting.
What can you do to ease nausea?
- Eat foods rich in B vitamins and Zinc – chickpeas, seeds, hazelnuts, milk, yogurt, white fish, green leafy vegetables, poultry, and lean meats.
- Take a B complex supplement.
- Eat small and regular meals to diminish blood sugar fluctuations.
- Make a big cup of ginger tea and drink it in small sips throughout the day. If this doesn’t help, try peppermint tea.
Foods to help relieve nausea:
|Earthy:||Brown rice, mushroom soup|
|Crunchy:||Celery sticks, apples|
|Sweet:||Cake, sugary cereals|
|Fruity:||Juices, fruity popsicles|
Practice yoga and meditation to relax the diaphragm and ease tension. For example, use the following breathing exercise: place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest and focus on your stomach as you breathe deeply for five minutes.