Acupuncture helps depression in pregnant women

In a recent study at Stanford University, 150 clinically depressed pregnant women who weren't previously taking antidepressants were randomly assigned to get either acupuncture for depression, acupuncture not specifically designed for depression, or massage for eight weeks. Those who got acupuncture targeting depression had a significantly greater decrease in depressive symptoms, compared with the other women. Some 63% of women in the acupuncture-for-depression group responded to treatment, compared with 44% in the other groups.
There was no difference between the groups in full recovery from the depression.

Depression in pregnancy is a risk factor for postpartum depression and postpartum depression is associated in some studies with poorer cognitive and emotional development in children. Some have linked depression in pregnancy and low birth weight.
As many as 14% of pregnant women are thought to develop a significant depression at some point during their pregnancy, comparable to numbers who suffer from postpartum depression.

Although antidepressants are generally considered safe for use in pregnancy, research has been limited and concerns are growing.

The study was published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology

Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal


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First Published in Febuary 2010

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