Pregnancy: Nausea and Vomiting

Often called morning sickness, although can occur at any time of day or night, and usually worse around weeks 7 to 12 of the pregnancy. Approximately 50% of pregnancies experience this distressing condition. The sickness is caused by changes in hormone levels which can be aggravated by stress, tiredness and emotional factors. We use acupuncture to give treatment once or twice a week, and also give homecare dietary advice to consolidate the treatment

Acupuncture is often very effective in reducing both the severity and incidence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Researchers Smith et al. (2002) published two articles from their research on nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. The first looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture and found that women receiving acupuncture experienced faster relief when compared to those groups receiving routine prescribed points or “sham” acupuncture. The authors speculated that more frequent treatments might have produced greater benefits (1). The second published article looked at the safety of acupuncture treatment during early pregnancy. This research looked at the successful pregnancy outcomes for the women involved, also congenital abnormalities, pregnancy complications and problems of the newborn. The researchers found no serious adverse effects amd concluded that “acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy” (2).

(1) Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. (2002). “Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized trial”. Birth. 29(1):1-9.
(2) Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. (2002). “Pregnancy outcome following women’s participation in a randomised controlled trial of acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy”. Complement Ther Med. 10(2):78-83.