Top Tips For Managing Nausea in Pregnancy

In the first 12 weeks

In the first 12 weeks, as the body undergoes huge physiological changes, Chinese medicine understands that the body is drawing a lot on its reservoirs and resources-  it’s qi (energy) and blood.

The strain on these resources, as well as hormonal and other changes, can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Chinese Medicine and acupuncture aims to help support the physiology of early pregnancy rebalance the body’s energy, increase vitality and reduce stress and anxiety.

We have clinics that can help you in your pregnancy located in Melbourne, Sydney CDB,  Sydney East,  Sydney inner west, Sydney western suburbs and the Central Coast! 

Top Tips For Managing Nausea in Pregnancy


  1. Keep up the fluids. Dehydration can make nausea worse so if you notice thirst or dry lips consider getting hydro lite and sipping this to replenish your fluids.  Try drinking a small amount frequently, and if you can’t stomach plain water, try ginger tea, peppermint tea or soups. ( see below find your flavour) . If burping helps, try sipping some fizzy water.


  1. Keep your blood sugar levels stable. Always keep small snacks on you and nibble something at least every 1.5-2 hours. Don’t let yourself get too hungry, but try not to overeat too! Avoid sugary snacks like sweets and chocolate. Rather, stick to complex carbohydrates and low GI  such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes with lean protein like tofu, egg or chicken. 


3. Avoid strong smells that might make nausea worse. Take a slice of lemon or lime wrapped in a cloth to have ready if you come across a strong unpleasant smell. Consider if your household products are making your nausea worse, including cleaners, washing powder or toothpaste. Sometimes switching to low-odour products can make a big difference!


  1. Find your FLAVOUR. Most people find some tastes are more helpful than others. In fact some flavours (and smell…read below)  can make nausea worse,  while others can really help quell nausea. You can try different tastes to work out which taste are most beneficial.  The most commonly Helpful flavours are: 
  • Sour- like lemon or apple cider vinegar most people (1 tablespoon and fill cup with boiling water and can add honey to taste) or Mineral water with freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Peppermint-  try peppermint tea
  • Ginger –  ginger tea (grate a piece of root ginger the size of a 50 cent piece, seep in boiling water for 10 minutes – add honey to taste. Do not exceed 3 cups per day).
  • Salty try Miso soup or Potato soup.


  1. Try acupressure or acupuncture.

Acupuncture treatment for morning sickness often aims to strengthen the digestive system, address disharmonies and support pregnancy  The study below concluded that Acupuncture is an effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy. 

Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. Acupuncture to treat neasea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized trail. Birth.2002Mar:29 (1):1-9

Acupressure: Seasickness wrist bands you can get from the chemist press on a fantastic acupuncture point that can be very helpful for nausea for some people and this can stimulate P6  a point found acupoint pressure can reduce the severity of nausea, vomiting, and retching in pregnant women.


ACU- Pressure points for nausea during pregnancy Using pressure points may be helpful. Try all three to find the ones that are the most suitable for you. Place firm pressure on the point for several minutes. If useful, continue to apply pressure every two hours, or during nausea, for approximately five minutes.

PC 6 This point is three of the woman’s finger widths above the transverse crease of the inner wrist. It lies directly between the two tendons felt there. It is possible to buy wristbands to apply pressure to this point, available through chemists called “sea bands”

 KID 27 This point is situated in the depression on the lower border of the clavicle (collar bone), two of the woman’s thumb widths from the centre the sternum(breast bone).

 KID 6 This point is situated one of the woman’s thumb widths below the medial malleous (the protruding bone on the inside of the ankle).

Ask your Acupuncture pregnancy practitioner about how to find them!

Acupressure Information collected and edited from The Essential guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth by Debra Betts © 2020.
  1. Probiotics for gut health Researchers in California have found that probiotics can help manage the nausea that makes early pregnancy so miserable for so many women.In this study vomiting was reduced by a third after taking the probiotics for 12 days over 2 weeks, and nausea was reduced 16%. Constipation, another common symptom in early pregnancy was also improved. Elevated estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy change gut microbiome composition and function, and it is thought that this is what can significantly impact GI function. Considering this, it would be interesting to see if starting probiotic supplementation at the outset of pregnancy, rather than waiting until nausea developed (usually around week 7) would reduce the incidence of nausea and vomiting more? Ask your practitioner for recommendations for the best products.The probiotics they used in this study  contained L. plantarum 299v, L. bulgaricus Lb-87, L. paracasei DSM 13434, L. plantarum DSM 15312, L. salivarius Ls-33, L. brevis Lbr-35, L. acidophilus La-14, B. lactis Bl-04, L. paracasei Lpc-37, and L. casei Lc-11 (10 billion live cultures at the time of manufacture).

7. Take B6 and ginger. This combination has been researched well and found to reduce nausea and vomiting. Ask your Acupuncture Pregnancy Practitioner for recommendations for the best products.

8. Rest!!! Rest seems to help nausea, while tiredness or fatigue seems to make it worse. Prioritise rest especially if feeling nauseous.

These tips should really help however we recommend consulting with an Acupuncture Pregnancy practitioner to get individualised for the best result! At the Acupuncture pregnancy clinic, our consults will include a TCM diagnosis and acupuncture with an individualised treatment plan, and dietary and lifestyle advice ….you are unique and so individualised treatment and advice always yield the best results.   Contact us to make a booking here.