It’s quite ironic that when you should be feeling the happiest and most excited about becoming a new parent – you are probably feeling worse than you’ve ever felt before! Nausea, sickness and vomiting are very common in pregnancy, especially in the early stages of the first trimester.
What causes morning sickness?
There’s isn’t just one single cause of morning sickness during pregnancy. It varies between women and also between pregnancies. You could be fine with your first child, but feel dreadful with your second, for example. It doesn’t even have to just occur in the morning, although this is usually when pregnant women feel it worst.
Increasing hormone levels are among the most common cause, but reduced blood sugar, excessive tiredness and stress are also other factors. Having twins or triplets can also make things worse, too.
The sickness can affect you at any time of the day or night, and some women feel sick all day long, unfortunately. Although morning sickness doesn’t pose a risk for you and your baby, it can make like very unpleasant and take away the joy you get from everyday activities.
How long does morning sickness last for?
For many women, the symptoms of morning sickness often become milder as their pregnancy continues and usually clear up by weeks 16 to 20. Unfortunately, for some women, the sickness could last right up until the moment they give birth.
Some women develop a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. This form of pregnancy sickness may mean that you are not getting enough fluids in your body as well as not getting enough nutrients from your diet.
If you are unable to keep food or fluids down for 24 hours or start to have very dark-coloured urine or have not had a wee in more than 8 hours, then you should consult your GP or midwife straight away. Also, you may feel severely weak, dizzy or faint when standing up or be losing weight instead of gaining it. You may need specialist treatment, sometimes in hospital.
What can be done to ease the symptoms of morning sickness?
It’s always best to speak to your midwife or GP about your symptoms to see what medication or supplements they advise to match the severity of your sickness. They might prescribe you supplements or medications to alleviate nausea and to help you retain foods and fluids. Medications could include antihistamines: to help with nausea and motion sickness, phenothiazine to help calm severe nausea and vomiting or antacids to absorb stomach acid and help prevent acid reflux.
Some women prefer to try natural remedies first, or in conjunction with supplements or medication. These should also be discussed with you midwife first.
With regards to food, ginger products such as ginger ale, ginger tea or ginger sweets have proven very effective with many women in soothing the symptoms of pregnancy sickness, as well as salted crackers, pretzels and carbonated drinks too.
Acupuncture and morning sickness
The stimulation of specific trigger points on the body has proved to be a significant therapeutic alternative in the treatment of nausea and sickness.
Acupuncture is a very gentle and relaxing treatment and can really help with the stress and fatigue that pregnancy and the sickness are causing you.
in the case of nausea and vomiting, a trained and skilled Acupuncture practitioner will talk to you about specific symptoms relating to your sickness. For example, they will see a different pattern in a patient who vomits her food soon after eating it, with a persistent thirst, a red tongue and a rapid pulse, and a patient who feels very nauseous, but who does not vomit but with bloating and fullness, and who also suffers extreme tiredness of the arms and legs, lethargy, weak voice, spontaneous seating, a pale tongue and a weak pulse.
Your Acupuncturist is, therefore, able to identify the causes of the imbalance and will choose the appropriate treatment (a combination of acupuncture points) tailored to address it.
Acupuncture Harrogate & North Yorkshire
If you are suffering from pregnancy symptoms and would like to talk to someone about treatment options, then please give me a call to chat things over. I would love to hear from you and have treated many pregnant women, helping them to ease their suffering.