Morning sickness is often one of the first signs that you’re pregnant, but is frequently met with mixed feelings. The joy of learning you’re pregnant can be dampened by the discomfort of nausea and vomiting.
Morning sickness affects an estimated 50 to 90% of all pregnant women. It generally begins around the 6th week of your pregnancy and tends to taper off some time after the 12th week, but some women experience nausea and vomiting throughout their entire pregnancy. While called morning sickness because many women wake up nauseous, it can occur at any time during the day. Common triggers include certain smells, heat, an empty stomach, and spicy foods, or you may feel nauseous without any triggers at all.
Morning sickness is the result of increasing and changing hormones in your newly pregnant body. Though it is not completely understood, scientists theorize that it is caused by the rise of human chorionic gonadopropin (HCG) and estrogen. As miserable as you may be, your health care provider may consider your morning sickness a good thing, as it’s a sign that the placenta is developing as it should. You may be more likely to have morning sickness if you’re prone to motion sickness, have a history of migraines, are pregnant with multiple babies, or had morning sickness during a previous pregnancy.
While morning sickness can be exhausting and uncomfortable, it usually isn’t a problem, unless your symptoms become extreme. Hyperemesis gravidarum, or HG, is a severe form of morning sickness, in which excessive vomiting causes pregnancy pain, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and a lack of nutrients. Untreated, HG can be harmful to both you and your baby, and should be addressed quickly. Mild cases of HG may be treated with diet, rest, and antacids. More extreme cases however, may require intravenous hydration and nutrition. A family history of HG, or having HG in a previous pregnancy may raise your risk for this kind of severe nausea and vomiting.
Treating Morning Sickness and Nausea
Using prescription medications for morning sickness presents a challenge, as there are no Category A drugs for nausea and vomiting that are proven completely safe during pregnancy. Furthermore, some medications prescribed for morning sickness may actually induce symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Some women have success reducing nausea by taking Vitamin B6 (sometimes with antihistamines) but these often need to be started in early pregnancy.
This is where BodaHealth’s acupuncture practitioners can help. When performed by a well-trained practitioner, acupuncture is an extremely safe treatment option. There are a number of research studies that have found acupuncture to be an effective way to treat both morning sickness and Hyperemesis Gravidarum. While our acupuncturists perform complete body treatments, there are several points that can be used to specifically treat nausea and vomiting. It has been extensively studied for its effectiveness in alleviating nausea and vomiting in general, as well as during pregnancy. If needed, our practitioners may send you home with magnets and ear seeds to help reduce your nausea.
Acupuncture causes a number of biological responses in your body, including an increase in circulating endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are a neurotransmitter that suppress pain and produce a feeling of relaxation and calm. Scientists believe that the increase in endorphins associated with acupuncture inhibit the vomiting center in the brain to reduce nausea and vomiting associated with a number of conditions, including morning sickness. In addition, they have found that acupuncture affects your upper GI tract by decreasing gastric irritation.
Why Choose BodaHealth
- At BodaHealth, we get it. Our practitioners are passionate about working with women during every stage of their life, including every step of their pregnancy journey. We understand that you want to feel as well as possible throughout your pregnancy, and we’re committed to helping you accomplish that.
- Our acupuncture practitioners and naturopathic doctors are extensively trained in women’s health and obstetrics and have years of clinical experience in treating women during every stage of their pregnancy.
- At BodaHealth, you are unique—not just another woman with morning sickness. We take the time to understand your complete health and fertility history. We will develop a pregnancy treatment plan based on your individual needs. As your condition changes, our treatment strategies for you will change, too.
- We offer a variety of healing treatments that may be incorporated into your plan. This may include Chinese herbal medicine, electric acupuncture, dietary therapy, naturopathic medicine, and massage therapy.
The bottom line is that morning sickness doesn’t have to dominate your pregnancy. At BodaHealth, we can offer a safe, effective, and drug-free solution. Give us a call today to see how we can help you.