7 best morning sickness tips
Despite its name, morning sickness doesn’t only happen at the start of the day. Of the almost 80% of pregnant women who experience morning sickness, a wave of nausea or vomiting can strike at any time.
If you suffer from morning sickness, there are many ways to get relief. In this guide we turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a medical practice drawn from China that’s been developed over thousands of years.
According to TCM, illness is caused by an imbalance of “Qi” or vital energy. For optimal health, Qi must be in balance. When stomach Qi is not in balance, morning sickness can happen.
In balanced stomach Qi, digested food flows downward to the small intestine for further separation. It then goes through the large intestine before being eliminated. However, when there is an imbalance, stomach Qi will flow upward, leading to classic morning sickness symptoms like nausea, vomiting, belching, heartburn, and even hiccups.
Fortunately, TCM offers many solutions to restore the balance of stomach Qi. These are 7 pregnancy sickness tips from TCM.
7 Tips for Morning Sickness
According to TCM, pregnancy causes stomach Qi to be redirected to other parts of the body to support a growing fetus. This can disrupt the balance of stomach Qi.
Acupuncture can work to restore balance in the body by stimulating the central nervous system and releasing various chemicals, such as endorphins and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). This can reduce psychological stress and lead to an improvement in nausea and vomiting symptoms.
Acupuncture has also been found to decrease stomach acid secretion and gastric dysrhythmias, which can help to provide morning sickness relief.
Acupressure is based on theories similar to acupuncture, but instead, it places manual pressure on strategic points — most often using the fingers.
As mentioned above, the PC6 point is popular for treating nausea and vomiting. One study found that PC6 acupressure can significantly reduce morning sickness in pregnant women — when compared to a placebo.
Another popular acupressure point is stomach 36 (or ST36). It is located just below the kneecap.
There are currently no studies examining ST36 acupressure in pregnant women. However, one meta review found that combining ST36 acupressure with other points can provide nausea relief for various conditions.
3. Staying Hydrated
It’s possible to feel slightly queasy when you’re dehydrated. This happens when you lose electrolytes — important minerals like sodium and potassium that regulate many processes in the body. Increasing your intake of mineral-rich fluids, such as bone broth and mineral water, can help with reducing nausea.
4. Eating Frequent, Small Meals
If you go too long without eating, your blood sugar can drop drastically, which can lead to stomach upset, dizziness, weakness, and nausea. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to eat small meals at regular intervals — before you have a chance to get too hungry.
To keep blood sugar from dropping too quickly, it’s also important to eat foods that won’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. This includes foods that are low on the glycemic index — like meat, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods have been found to significantly reduce how quickly blood sugar rises and drops after eating.
5. Herbal Teas
Some herbal teas can balance stomach Qi and soothe the liver, leading to reduced morning sickness. Some of the most popular herbal teas for this purpose include ginger, peppermint, and chamomile.
In addition, lemon is a popular ingredient that can be added to any anti-nausea teas. Lemon has a high content of neutralizing acids. Sour flavours are also generally preferred for those who are nauseous.
For added sweetness, it’s best to avoid white sugar and to use healthy natural sweeteners, such as honey.
6. Gentle Exercise
Gentle exercise, such as going for a walk outside, can be an effective morning sickness relief.
Moving your muscles can help your body to detox built-up acid and carbon dioxide in the blood, which may be contributing to nausea. In addition, if you’re exercising outside, the fresh air can be enough on its own to provide some morning sickness relief.
7. Avoiding Caffeine & Sugar
We all know the importance of avoiding sugar, but it’s even more important for someone who experiences morning sickness.
As briefly mentioned above, sugar is high on the glycemic index, which means that it can make your blood sugar rise and drop just as quickly. These drastic fluctuations can make nausea feel significantly worse.
What’s more, sugar molecules attract water. This means that sugar in your stomach can increase water retention, contributing to more nausea. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to eat sugar either in very small amounts or not at all.
It is also important to avoid caffeine during pregnancy because it can take your body more time to clear it out of your system. Caffeine can also make you feel jittery, cause indigestion, and lead to sleep problems, all of which can contribute to morning sickness. It’s best to cut out caffeine entirely — or, at the very least, to limit consumption to one cup of coffee per day.
Morning sickness is a condition that affects most pregnant women and can lead to symptoms such as acid reflux, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.
If you suffer from morning sickness, then Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can offer you many options for getting relief.
TCM’s best morning sickness tips include PC6 and ST36 acupuncture and acupressure, increased hydration, frequent meals, herbal teas, gentle exercise, and avoiding sugar and caffeine.
Implementing these tips into your routine can offer you some morning sickness relief.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our consultation page where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.