As many of you have pointed out to me morning sickness is a bit of a misnomer because in real life a wave of nausea or vomiting can strike pregnant women at any time of the day or night. Between 60% and 80% of pregnant women experience some nausea and vomiting although for most women this dissipates by the end of the first trimester. Just under 2% of women suffer from a more severe version of morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarium, which causes vomiting so severe that it leads to weight loss and dehydration. This kind of severe morning sickness may even warrant a stay in the hospital and treatment with IVF fluids and anti-emetic medications.

You should always follow your OB’s advice about morning sickness but here is the advice we give our YinOva Center patients.

  • Come in for acupuncture. Acupuncture has proved useful in controlling morning sickness in clinical trials such as this one. The point we use, P6, is a gentle, safe, well tested, natural way of addressing this annoying symptom.
  • Ask us to place a magnet on P6 for you before you go home. We send our patients out of the office with a small magnet on the point for nausea and vomiting. This prolongs the effects of the treatment and works the same way as using Sea-Bands.  We like the seabands and encourage their use but we prefer to use magnets because we can help you by placing them in the exact spot necessary for maximum effect.
  • Morning sickness seems to get worse in response to changes in blood sugar so eating small, regular meals throughout the day can be really helpful. When I was pregnant with Emma, I never went anywhere without a small pack of crackers in my bag so that I could nibble on them when I started to get queasy.
  • Some of our patients swear by a slice of dry toast before they get out of bed in the morning. However pregnant women are very idiosyncratic and some feel better if they drink lemon and hot water, or mint tea or ginger tea. 
  • Don’t overeat.
  • Avoid fluids at mealtimes but drink lots of fluids at other times to avoid dehydration.
  • Take your prenatal vitamin with food.
  • Some of our patients have found that sucking on a hard candy is helpful and some have recommended Preggie Pop Drops for the same reason.
  • Ginger is used in Chinese herbology for morning sickness and so we recommend brewing up some ginger tea. 
  • Avoid rich, greasy or fried foods.
  • Ask your doctor about taking extra vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) on top of your prenatal vitamin. The dose recommended for easing nausea and vomiting is 25mg twice a day and many of our patients have found this really helpful. You should be careful not to take more vitamin B6 than your doctor recommends because too much can lead to nerve damage and numbness and may not be safe for your developing baby.
  • Inhaling peppermint essential oil can help some women.
  • Likewise 2 – 3 cups of Peppermint Tea a day can help to settle your stomach.
  • The following homeopathic remedies have also worked for some of our patients. For morning sickness with irritability, Nux Vomica 6C. For inability to keep anything down but nausea not relieved by vomiting, Ipecacuanha 6c and for evening sickness and tearfulness, Pulsatilla 6c.
If your symptoms are severe you should contact your doctor and this is particularly true if you have been unable to keep anything down for more than 24 hours, if you are vomiting blood or if you have lost more than 2lbs in weight.

To read more about Chinese medicine and morning sickness, check out this blog article by YinOva Acupuncturist and Obstetric Nurse Laura Scheurer.
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