TCM Tips for Morning Sickness

TCM Tips for Morning Sickness
Mariah Van Horn, L. Ac.

Pregnancy is usually an exciting time, but if you’re suffering from morning sickness, that can really put a damper on your excitement. Here are a few things you can try to lift that nausea and feeling of unease.

To start, make sure you always have something with you for a snack and eat throughout the day; an empty stomach is your enemy when experiencing morning sickness. You might as well get used to it. In my experience, becoming a mother means you’ll be carrying food with you everywhere you go for at least the next 10 years. If symptoms are worse in the morning, keep some crackers or nuts by your bed to eat if you wake at all through the night (which, let’s face it during pregnancy is unfortunately common).

Acupuncture can be great in treating morning sickness. PC-6 is an acupuncture point commonly used to treat nausea. You could press this point on your own for a little acupressure, or there are bands that are sold at some pharmacies and common stores that apply a constant pressure to this little powerful point on the inside of your forearm, two finger breadths above the wrist crease between the tendons.

Essential oils can also be a helpful defense. Sometimes an oil like lemon or orange, or a nice citrus blend can be helpful. Other women respond more toward peppermint. You can try both, or often women know which one they would respond to more favorably. You can apply it to the skin on your chest, wrist or even under your nose, or use a diffuser.

In Chinese medicine, pregnancy often presents as dampness. Dampness can worsen your sense of smell, make you foggy headed and tired, crave sweets and be averse to drinking water. Citrus cuts that dampness, as does ginger. Ginger teas, or particularly raw ginger can be very helpful for addressing the dampness and some of the signs that accompany it, especially the nausea. So eat your ginger and your lemons, drink plenty of water and enjoy your pregnancy!

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