Morning Sickness? Portland Acupuncturist Offers Practical Advice

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I am a mother and an acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon. I have had 2 successful pregnancies….once I got past the first trimester. Boy was I sick. I went weeks without buying groceries because I never knew from one minute to the next what I’d be able to eat. There were days when I was seeing patients that I thought I may not be able to make it through a session. There were days when I was so grateful that as an acupuncturist I have access to a bed in the form of a treatment table so that I could just lie down for 5 minutes to quell the nausea. And then was the moment in each pregnancy when I finally decided to take my own advice and get over the morning sickness.

Do any of the following sound familiar?

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Ravenous hunger at 3:00 a.m.
  • Sick at the thought of food
  • Sicker at the smell of food

If you are experiencing any (or all) of these symptoms, Congratulations! you must be pregnant!

Who thought it could be so terrible?

I know, you are grateful for every day that that little being is growing inside of you. You didn’t sign up for this, though, right? You thought, sure, everyone gets a little sick, but THIS? You’re starving, but nothing sounds good, and ugh! the food your colleague is eating at her desk? Is she trying to kill you?

Fear not. You can feel better. You will feel better. I am an acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon, and I treat women all the time for this very condition. I also am the mother of two who has dealt with her fair share of pregnancy-related nausea. Acupuncture is fantastic at helping with morning sickness (a terrible word that makes you think you should feel good as long as it isn’t morning). The nice thing about coming in for acupuncture is that I can treat all of your pregnancy, and non-pregnancy related issues at the same time, so if you are dealing with nausea and back pain, I treat it all at once. If you can’t get in to see me, here are some tips that I think will help you through the rough times:

  • Eat often. This may sound impossible, but it is a must!  For most of you, as long as you keep food in your system, you’ll be ok. Now in order for this to help, you must be vigilant. Keep food in your bag, your car, your pocket, by your bed…in short, don’t ever be caught without a snack. It will take some planning, but it is well worth it.
  • Go suck a lemon! No, really. Lemon and orange are commonly very soothing smells and flavors for women dealing with pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. For me, eating an orange first thing in the morning helped me get my stomach primed for more substantial food. You can carry lemon or orange essential oils around with you and smell them any time the nausea hits. If you are suffering a prolonged bout of nausea, try putting the essential oil on a piece of cloth and laying it over your face or chest while you rest.
  • Minty fresh. Peppermint works great for some women to combat nausea and vomiting. If you get a high grade organic essential oil, you can try one drop on your tongue when nauseous (this is also a great headache/migraine cure). For some just drinking peppermint tea or sucking on mints is helpful.
  • Ginger. I love ginger, and for me, chewing on ginger candies and drinking ginger tea was mildly helpful. It helped enough to take the edge off, you know, so you can actually finish your grocery shopping. Read this article to find out about safe dosing:
  • Eat what you can. I know you want to give your baby the best while you are pregnant. I also know what a crucial time the first trimester is to get in the most nutrition possible. So yes, eat your protein and your green veggies, but if the thought of chicken has you running for the bathroom, ease up on yourself. If you ate well before conceiving, much of that will carry you through the first three months of pregnancy. The best plan is to do the best you can. If one day you have the urge to eat nothing but broccoli, go for it, and don’t feel badly if you can’t get in another vegetable for a week. Be gentle with yourself, and know that as long as you get in the most nutrition you can based on what you can stomach each day, your baby will be ok.


Obviously if you are vomiting profusely, loosing lots of weight, or have any concerns about the severity of your sickness, please see your doctor. If, however, you need some support from a natural health care provider for your morning sickness, some personalized advice and an individual treatment plan to help you through this or any other pregnancy-related issue, give me a call at 503-442-1205. Shoot me an email. Visit my website to find out more about what I can offer you.


From one mama to another, I am so happy to help.