Nausea and Vomiting
“Morning Sickness” occurs in about half of all pregnancies. It begins between 6 and 16 weeks, but can come at anytime and last for the entire pregnancy.
Every woman’s experience is different, nausea and vomiting may come together or there may only be nausea-and it doesn’t only happen in the morning, it can be 24 hours a day.
Although many women are eating a small amount of food and may even loose weight, it does not affect the development of the fetus. The more serious risk is of dehydration for the woman, in cases a woman may need intravenous fluids in the hospital.
Why? …..There are some theories
- Hormone levels: Rapid increases in the ‘pregnancy’ hormone hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin) as well as estrogen may be the cause of the nausea. These hormones may be affecting the area in the brain stem which controls nausea and vomiting.
- Fatigue and stress: A woman has a higher chance of nausea if stressed and tired.
- Emotions: It is thought that emotional responses to the pregnancy can be a factor in nausea, although this often doesn’t fit many of the cases.
In Chinese Medicine
The Chong vessel which is intimately connected to menstruation and pregnancy and goes under significant changes; the menstruation stops and blood is used to nourish the growing fetus. The Chong channel is susceptible to rebellious qi (qi moving in the wrong direction) and it is also related to the stomach, as it passes through the stomach. Even in Chinese Medicine there are differing theories as to why women get nauseous. One theory explains that it is due to deficiency of blood, essence and kidney energy while another says that the Chong vessel sends blood down to the fetus, but the fetus blocks the uterus because it is too small to utilize the blood at such an early stage. Weak spleen and stomach qi (energies) are also a reason for nausea and vomiting. The spleen and stomach have opposing energy flows; the spleen flows upwards and the stomach downwards. The disruption in the Chong vessel can disturb the balance and cause the stomach qi to rise-the spleen qi is not strong enough to maintain the clear energy flowing upwards.
Acupuncture has an excellent track record for treating nausea and vomiting, a qualified practitioner will be able to determine which pattern a woman is suffering from and use points to correct that imbalance as well as use points which are specifically used to lower rebellious qi and strengthen the spleen and stomach.