Pregnancy is a very special time in a woman’s life but it does not go easy for everyone, many women experience nausea in their first trimester of pregnancy. Most medications cannot be taken during pregnancy, which leaves women with little to ease their nausea symptoms. I treat many women who experience nausea during their first trimester.
During the first trimester, the increase in hormones causes havoc on the digestive system, although it is not quite known what causes first trimester nausea, it is theorized that the rise in estrogen is the main factor. Pregnant women can experience nausea as early as 5 weeks and it normally abates by week 12 but in certain extreme cases can last the whole pregnancy. In severe cases, vomiting can ensue so it is important to hydrate.
Acupuncture To Treat Pregnancy-Related Nausea
In Chinese Medicine, during the first trimester, nausea can be due to different factors. The spleen which is the one of the main organs in the digestive system according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be deficient due to the pregnancy or it can also be deficient preceding pregnancy. Therefore, I always ask if my patient had any digestive system complaints before pregnancy. Other factors that can cause nausea are too much heat in the stomach or if there is stuck energy.
Acupuncture is extremely beneficial in treating pregnancy-related nausea. This is because, depending on what is imbalanced in the digestive system, and acupuncture helps to restore balance and homeostasis where symptoms go away. What I often see in many cases is a deficient digestive system where “dampness” accumulates causing nausea during pregnancy. The spleen in Chinese Medicine is responsible for the transformation and transportation of fluids, when it is deficient in pregnancy fluids accumulate called “dampness”. Dampness can be a factor in nausea. There are other types of factors to why nausea can develop and each case may be different. Therefore, after assessing a patient, different acupuncture points are used to stabilize the digestive system and reduce nausea symptoms. Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy and I normally give two sessions per week for 2 weeks and then assess how my patient is doing.
There are good points for acupressure that I teach my patients. One point is Pericardium 6, located about two inches above the inner wrist. This point is often where sea bands wrap around. This point I also include in pregnancy-related nausea because of its ability to ease nausea symptoms. If you are experiencing nausea of any kind, this point is excellent. Simply put three finger (index, middle and ring finger) on the inner wrist. Pericardium 6 is located three finger widths from the inner wrist between the two tendons.
Tips For Nausea During Pregnancy
- It is important to keep hydrated during pregnancy, since most women do not like to drink water when they are nauseous. Other good beverages are coconut water and vitamin water.
- Keep crackers by your bedside and have them before you go to bed and first thing in the morning. Nausea can occur on an empty stomach.
- Avoid cold or raw foods first thing in the morning.
If you want more information or have specific questions, please call our office at 917.763.8560 to schedule a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation.