Self-Care for Morning Sickness
Thankfully, Chinese medicine has quite a bit to say about treating nausea. (Did you know it’s so effective, most insurances reimburse for acupuncture treatment of morning sickness and nausea from chemotherapy?) Some of my favorite points to use with moms during pregnancy include:
Ren-22 (天突, Celestial Chimney)
This point is located at the very base of the throat, just above the sternum.
Pericardium-6 (內關, Inner Gate)
Use your one hand to locate this point on the opposite arm. You’ll find the point between two major tendons roughly 2 inches up from the wrist crease on the inside of the forearm. The exact distance equals the width of your index, middle and rings fingers when measured across the knuckles furthest from the body.
Kidney-6 (照海, Shining Sea)
You’ll find this point in a depression just under the high point of the ankle bone on the inside of the foot.
How to Do Acupressure
It’s best to see your acupuncturist first to ensure you’re stimulating the correct point. Once you’ve got it, you’ll want to stimulate both sides. Massage gently at the point for a few minutes, using your intention to imagine you and your baby coming into harmony and alignment. Imagine all stress being released with the out breath and support coming in on the in breath. You can even couple with an affirmations like, “I love knowing my baby and I are safe.” “Every day it becomes easier to trust the process of life.” “Everything in my life takes place in perfect timing.”
Foods to Reduce Morning Sickness
Beyond self-acupressure, foods are, of course, the most effective home remedy for morning sickness. I encourage you to read the article from Karen Hurd as to why pulses (aka beans) are your best friend right now. In Chinese medicine, we have largely two patterns that fit the symptom of morning sickness. One is Spleen-Stomach deficiency (see: “Deficiency” column in table); and the other of Liver heat or stagnancy overacting on the Stomach (see: “Excess” column in table). Your acupuncturist/herbalist should be able to tell you which category better suits your needs if it’s not readily apparent to you looking at the below presentations.
Symptoms of deficiency include vomiting of watery fluids (may have undigested food, no particular smell or taste), poor appetite, and fatigue.
Liver Excess Overacting on Stomach
Symptoms of Liver excess include vomiting with bitter or sour taste, sour belching, strong thirst, a feeling of restriction through the side ribs, headaches (largely one-sided), dizziness and irritability.
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Need more help?
If you need more help in getting relief, consider coming in for acupuncture. In addition to treating nausea and vomiting, acupuncture can also help relieve back pain, headaches, insomnia and depression during pregnancy.
- Chinese Nutritional Therapy, Kastner (2004)
- Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth, Betts (2006)
- Healing with Whole Foods, Pitchford (2002)
- “Morning Sickness,” Karenhurd.com accessed 01/17