Topic: Should You Try Acupuncture for Morning Sickness?
Whether this is your first or fourth pregnancy, chances are you may be feeling icky with morning sickness. In fact, between 50 and 80 percent of pregnant people experience some form of nausea and vomiting. And despite what it sounds like, these symptoms can hit at any time of the day or night.
More and more people are turning to acupuncture to help ease their nausea and other pregnancy symptoms, and there’s research to back up this alternative therapy. Here’s what you need to know before you go.
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
Even before you see the positive sign on your pregnancy test, your body is hard at work increasing your levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to support your baby’s growth. As your hCG rises, you may feel queasy or even throw up.
Some people only have brief periods of nausea each day and otherwise feel quite normal. Others may find themselves feeling sick for hours on end with frequent vomiting.
If you’re going to experience morning sickness, you’ll likely start having symptoms by week 9 (and it’s not always just in the morning, by the way). Fortunately, most will also start feeling better a few weeks later in the second trimester or by 14 weeks gestation. Some pregnant people don’t get sick at all. And others may be sick their entire pregnancies.
If you had horrible nausea and vomiting with your first child, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll experience that level of sickness again. Each pregnancy is unique. That said, feeling sick at all isn’t fun and can make it difficult to keep yourself and your baby hydrated, among other issues. This is where acupuncture comes in.
Research about acupuncture and morning sickness
Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves placing tiny needles along different points (meridians) on the body to align the flow of energy (chi/qi) and promote wellness. The practice has been around for thousands of years and is gaining clout as a possible treatment for morning sickness. But what does the science say?
In one older (but very relevant) 2002 studyTrusted Source, researchers split nearly 600 women who were less than 14 weeks pregnant into groups that received either traditional acupuncture, pericardium 6 acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or no acupuncture.
The group receiving traditional acupuncture had less nausea and dry heaving just 2 weeks into treatment. The other acupuncture groups saw similar results compared to the no-acupuncture group after 3 weeks. The researchers did point out, though, that the incidence of vomiting didn’t change in any of the groups despite treatment.
Topic Discussed: Should You Try Acupuncture for Morning Sickness?
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