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Acupuncture is a Nauseous Mother’s Helper! Give the Heave a Heave Ho!


Acupuncture Helps with Pregnancy Complaints

It’s morning, the birds are singing, and you’re accompanying them with a dry heave.

Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy are definitely issues for some women. Acupuncture is a fantastic addition to traditional Western prenatal care that has many benefits that come with it. And because acupuncture has very few side effects, many pregnant women now seek this other option to drug therapy for these and many other common pregnancy complaints.

And it’s been shown that acupuncture can help. A single blind randomized controlled trial was undertaken by a maternity teaching hospital in Adelaide, Australia to determine whether acupuncture reduced nausea, dry retching, and vomiting, and improved the health status of women in pregnancy.

The trial consisted of 593 women less than 14 weeks pregnant that had symptoms of nausea or vomiting that were randomized into 4 groups. The results? Women receiving traditional acupuncture reported less nausea throughout the trial and less dry retching from the second week, compared with women in the no acupuncture control group. Women who received p6 acupuncture reported less nausea from the second week of the trial, and less dry retching from the third week compared with women in the no acupuncture control group. Women in the sham acupuncture group reported less nausea and dry retching from the third week compared with women in the no acupuncture group. 

So, acupuncture was indeed found to be an effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy. 

But is acupuncture safe?

Another study in 2002 conducted at the same hospital on the safety of acupuncture for nausea in early pregnancy verified that there is no increased risk of congenital anomalies, miscarriage, stillbirth, placental abruption, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, premature birth, or normal measures of neonatal health (such as maturity or birth weight) when women receive acupuncture during pregnancy.

The study was conducted during the first trimester of pregnancy, when fetal development is most vulnerable. These results have been replicated at other research institutions worldwide.

So not only is acupuncture effective, it’s safe! Acupuncture is also excellent for relieving stress, hip and low back pain, breech position, mild to moderate depression, inducing and decreasing the length of labor. A true Mother’s Helper!

For more information, visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com


Source: Birth. 2002 Mar;29(1):1-9.
Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial.
Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J.
Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Adelaide University, Adelaide, Australia.

Photo by Anna Langova

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