Can Hypnotherapy help Morning Sickness?

Hypnotherapy is a safe therapy in pregnancy and has been used for many years to help reduce or even alleviate nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP).

Breathe's therapist, Joanne Marie, experienced the most severe form: hyperemisis gravidarum, and so is extremely committed to helping pregnant women with this symptom.

Feeling sick whilst pregnant is one symptom that most women dread and although some experience no nausea others find it a thoroughly miserable experience.  Pregnancy sickness can, for some women, take much of the pleasure out of being pregnant and its effects should not be underestimated. There is however support available.

Nausea and sickness in pregnancy  is often called morning sickness although it can happen at any time of day or night. In early pregnancy sickness is very common but it can be very distressing and unpleasant. In its usual form  NVP does not put you or your baby at risk. The symptoms usually clear up in around the 16 to 20th weeks of pregnancy. The NHS research states that around 50% of women experience some vomiting in early pregnancy and 80% experience nausea.  The severe form of the condition is called hyperemesis gravidarium and requires medical intervention.

Hypnotherapy is a technique used to manage many distressing physical symptoms including those relating to pregnancy. Many symptoms are made worse by stress and pregnancy sickness, although absolutely not caused only by stress, can be harder to manage when stress levels rise.  Hypnotherapy works in a variety of ways including promoting relaxation, providing positive suggestions to re-frame your experience and giving you techniques to manage stress and emotions related to the nausea and sickness. Sickness in pregnancy is not something that is "in the mind" but hypnotherapy can help rebuild your resources and provide some freedom from the symptoms.  if you would like to discuss hypnotherapy please do contact Breathe Holistic Therapy and our therapist will be happy to discuss your needs. 

During my pregnancy I struggled with hyperemesis and can not over state how distressing the experience was. After I gave birth I was committed to learning therapies to help pregnant women, such as reflexology and hypnotherapy. I understand how difficult pregnancy sickness can be and am passionate about helping pregnant women. I am eager to show women who are struggling that there is help available and they can enjoy their pregnancy
— Joanne Marie: Therapist at Breathe Holistic Therapy

Unless you are experiencing the extreme form of the condition the treatments available from your midwife or doctor are aimed at managing symptoms.  Advice provided by the NHS includes:

  • getting lots of rest – tiredness can make things worse
  • if you feel sick first thing in the morning, give yourself time to get up slowly and eat something like dry toast before you get up
  • drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, and sipping them little and often rather than in large amounts, as this may help prevent vomiting
  • eating small, frequent meals that are high in carbohydrate (such as bread, rice and pasta) and low in fat.
  • avoiding foods or smells that make you feel sick
  • avoiding drinks that are cold, sharp or sweet
  • asking the people close to you for extra support and help
  • distracting yourself as much as you can – the nausea can get worse the more you think about it
  • wearing comfortable clothes without tight waistbands

What Causes Morning Sickness?

The exact cause of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy no known although, researchers have
suggested a number of different causes, including:

•  increased oestrogen levels

•  increased human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) levels

•  nutritional deficiency

•  gastric problems

•  evolutionary adaptation to prevent poisoning.

When should I see my doctor with pregnancy sickness?

The NHS provides the following guidelines for when to seek help. If you are vomiting and can't keep down any food or drink, there is a chance that you could become dehydrated or malnourished. Contact your GP or midwife immediately if you have very dark-coloured urine or do not pass urine for more than eight hours. Also contact them if you are unable to keep food or fluids down for 24 hours and/or are feeling weak, dizzy or faint when standing up. Contact your GP immediately if you have abdominal (tummy) pain a have a high temperature (fever of 38C (100.4F) or above) or vomit blood. 

At Breathe Holistic Therapy we can not offer medical advise or diagnose and recommend women seek advice whenever they are concerned about themselves or their baby. As an holistic therapy provider we believe mental health is as important as physical health and consequently urge women who are finding any aspects of their pregnancy  emotionally or mentally challenging to speak to their GP or midwife. If you need support with pregnancy sickness or hyperemesis gravidarium always speak to your midwife or GP but you may also find support groups helpful: 

HER Foundation

Pregnancy sickness support group

if you would like to find out more about hypnotherapy for pregnancy sickness please do contact Breathe Holistic Therapy.  Our therapist is a qualified nurse and clinical hypnotherapist also providing hypnobirth training.