Alleviating Nausea During Pregnancy: Can Acupuncture Help?


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of health conditions. One of the most promising uses of acupuncture in recent years has been to alleviate nausea during pregnancy.

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, commonly referred to as morning sickness, affect approximately 80% of pregnant women. While it is a common and typically benign symptom, it can be a significant source of discomfort and even interfere with daily activities. It is generally NOT fun. 

In the first 12 weeks

Recent research has suggested that acupuncture may be helpful for nausea during pregnancy. In a randomized controlled trial involving 593 pregnant women with nausea and vomiting, many of those who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in the severity of their symptoms,  compared to those who received usual care.

Another study, a systematic review, and meta-analysis that analyzed the results of 26 randomized controlled trials concluded that acupuncture may reduce both the frequency and severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Additionally, in this study, acupuncture was found to be safe and had no adverse effects on the mother or the fetus.

Acupuncture is believed to work by stimulating specific points on the body, which can trigger the release of neurotransmitters and hormones, and this mechanism may reduce nausea and vomiting. It is also thought to have a calming effect on the body, which may help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety and stress.

Undergoing IVF

While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of how acupuncture works for nausea in pregnancy, the current evidence suggests that it can be a safe option for pregnant women. It is important to note that acupuncture should always be performed by an AHPRA-registered and degree-trained practitioner. 

If you are struggling with nausea during pregnancy and are interested in exploring acupuncture as a treatment option, speak with your healthcare provider or seek out an AHPRA-registered acupuncturist to discuss your options.

Our highly trained team of Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners has been providing compassionate TCM acupuncture support to people just like you since 2008. We use the latest research to inform our practice, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible evidence-based Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture care.

If you are ready to get started with your Acupuncture Pregnancy Clinic journey, you can check our locations to find the nearest clinic location to your home and book here or if you like to or if you like to contact our team for assistance contact fill click here.

From 34-40 weeks


– Smith CA, Crowther CA, Collins CT, Coyle ME. Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Birth. 2002 Dec;29(4):247-55. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-536x.2002.00200.x. PMID: 12452996.

– Heazell AE, Dornan JC. Management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. BMJ. 2014 Feb 3;348:g3605. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g3605. PMID: 24493793.

– Deng Y, Tian X, Li G, Liang Y, Li L, Chen J. Acupuncture for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Feb 26;2019:5916591. doi: 10.1155/2019/5916591. PMID: 30911284; PMCID: PMC6417077.