Major depression during pregnancy affects fourteen percent of women. Researchers from Stanford University Medical Center say acupuncture could be considered a treatment option for pregnant women suffering from depression that could lead to poor birth outcomes for mother and baby.
Rachel Manber, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and leader of the study found that 94 percent of pregnant women are hesitant to take antidepressants due to concerns about the effect of on fetal development. "Because there's this concern about medication among pregnant women and their physicians, it's important to find an alternative,"
Some antidepressants used during pregnancy have been linked to low birth weight, heart problems, and pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH). Untreated symptoms of depression can also increase the risk of pre-term birth.
Researchers recruited 150 women meeting criteria for major depression for their study, comparing depression specific acupuncture treatment to acupuncture using needles inserted in points that did not alleviate depression and to massage. The women were randomly assigned to the treatments, making the study well controlled.
Treatment with acupuncture resulted in a 63 percent reduction in symptoms compared to pregnant women who received massage or acupuncture that was known to not treat depression.
Study co-author Deirdre Lyell, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology says acupuncture might not work for everyone, but hopes that people "will respect the rigorous methodology" and consider acupuncture an option for treating depression during pregnancy. Acupuncture lowered depression by 63 percent among pregnant women studied.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
In Charlotte NC, Acupuncture that could treat depression during pregnancy is offered at:
Tao Acupuncture Center