Understanding Morning Sickness

During pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for many women to experience some form of morning sickness. This can range from mild nausea and discomfort to severe vomiting. While nausea during pregnancy is a common and typically temporary condition, it can still be quite challenging for expectant mothers to manage along with all the other changes their body is experiencing. Seeking relief from morning sickness is therefore a priority for many pregnant women, but they may be wary of using pharmaceutical medications due to potential risks to their developing baby. In this instance, acupuncture can be a safe and effective alternative treatment for both mother and baby. Let’s take a closer look.

Acupuncture: An Ancient Remedy

Morning sickness, also known as nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), is a common symptom experienced by about 70-80% of pregnant women. It usually occurs during the first trimester, starting around the 6th week and often subsiding by the end of the 12th week. However, in some cases, it can persist into the second or even third trimester.

The Benefits of Acupuncture for Morning Sickness

The exact cause of morning sickness is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to hormonal changes in the body, particularly an increase in human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and oestrogen levels. Additionally, factors such as heightened sensitivity to certain odours and an empty stomach upon waking in the morning can exacerbate the symptoms.

The Benefits of Acupuncture for Morning Sickness

Acupuncture is an ancient form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been practised for thousands of years. It involves inserting thin specially fabricated needles into specific points on the body to stimulate and balance the flow of energy, known as Qi. According to TCM principles, disruptions in the flow of Qi can lead to the manifestation of various health issues, including nausea and vomiting.

Acupuncture Safety During Pregnancy

While acupuncture is well-known for addressing pain relief and stress reduction, it has also been used as an alternative therapy for managing morning sickness during pregnancy. The gentle and non-invasive nature of acupuncture makes it an attractive option for expectant mothers seeking drug-free relief from their symptoms.


Research on the effectiveness of acupuncture for morning sickness is still ongoing, but some studies have shown promising results. For example, a study published in the “Journal of Maternal-Foetal & Neonatal Medicine” in 2020 found that pregnant women who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in nausea and vomiting compared to those who did not receive acupuncture.

Another study published in the “Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada” in 2018 reported that acupuncture not only reduced the severity of nausea and vomiting but also helped improve overall well-being and quality of life for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness.

Research on the effectiveness of acupuncture for morning sickness is still ongoing, but some studies have shown promising results. The benefits reported by pregnant women who underwent acupuncture treatment for morning sickness include:

One of the most significant advantages of acupuncture as a treatment for morning sickness is its safety profile during pregnancy. When performed by a qualified and experienced acupuncturist, acupuncture is considered safe for pregnant women. The treatment is drug-free, has little to no side effects and does not pose any known risks to the developing foetus.

Furthermore, a systematic review published in the “Journal of Acupuncture in Medicine” in 2018 analysed multiple studies on acupuncture during pregnancy and concluded that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for reducing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It also found that adverse effects of acupuncture were minimal and not different from those experienced by women who did not receive acupuncture.

Morning sickness can be a challenging aspect of pregnancy, impacting the well-being of expectant mothers. While it is a natural part of the pregnancy experience for many women, finding safe and effective ways to manage morning sickness is crucial. Acupuncture offers a gentle and drug-free option that has shown promise in reducing nausea and vomiting, providing relief and support during this special time.

As with any alternative therapy, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting acupuncture or any other treatment during pregnancy. Selecting a qualified acupuncturist who specialises in treating pregnant women means they can offer the best possible care and support for expectant mothers seeking relief from morning sickness.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique, and what works for one woman may not work for another. While acupuncture has shown promise in relieving morning sickness, it’s crucial to discuss any treatment options with your healthcare provider to ensure the best care for you and your baby during this special time.

LA-LondonAcupuncture is your online guide to acupuncture specialists throughout London. We offer an extensive directory of leading acupuncturist practitioners able to meet all of your general and specialist health and well-being needs. Discover how acupuncture can transform your health with our in-depth acupuncture insights and special lifestyle recommendations.

Contact us