The incredible joy of pregnancy is often marred by symptoms of morning sickness. These can include any of the following: nausea, gagging, retching, dry heaving, vomiting, and odor and/or food aversion. Symptoms can be triggered by certain aromas, flavors, or nothing at all. The term is arguably a ‘misnomer’ since symptoms can occur any time of the day and last any length of time.
When does morning sickness start?
70% of women experience pregnancy nausea and vomiting (also commonly known as NVP). It begins at 6-8 weeks of gestation and generally resolves by weeks 16-20. Symptoms usually peak between 10 and 16 weeks of pregnancy. Less than 10% of women experience the more severe form of NVP called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Higher incidences of pregnancy nausea have been reported in women with multiple versus single pregnancies. Unless the symptoms of morning sickness are severe, researchers have found it to be associated with reduced miscarriage rates.
TCM causes for pregnancy nausea
Traditional Chinese Medicine is all about balance. As the body adapts to a new pregnancy, imbalances in channel pathways are not unexpected. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) term for morning sickness is – rebellious stomach qi.
The channel at the root of this condition is called Chong Mai. This vessel is filled with menstrual blood and emptied every month. Once pregnancy occurs, the blood in the Chong Mai is instead redirected to the uterus to support the growing fetus. As Chong Mai passes through the stomach, the redirection of blood causes an imbalance of stomach Qi. The qi rebels – rising upwards causing nausea and vomiting.
So, what works to beat morning sickness?
Below are some time-tested interventions for NVP-
- Eat small meals at regular intervals. The key is to not overburden the already rebellious stomach qi.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Ginger in any form is the simplest herbal remedy. Tea, candy, crystallized, or even ale.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). Add 1 tbsp ACV and honey to a cup full of hot water.
- Acupressure points Pericardium 6 (PC6) and Kidney 6 (KD6) pack a punch.
- Acupuncture is deeper more powerful stimulation than Acupressure.
While morning sickness may seem draining, the way of nature is that baby’s needs will always be met. The baby requires more nutrition from the mother during the second and third trimesters. Even with a reduced appetite during the first trimester, your baby is growing fine.