Acupuncture may help lessen depression symptoms during pregnancy, reports a study at Stanford University School of Medicine.
The study authors, led by depression,mother,pregnancy,rachel manber, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, said they hope the results will meet the problem of depression during pregnancy and provide patients and physicians an alternative to antidepressants. It will also create awareness among pregnant ladies about depression.
This study was conducted after 14 per cent of pregnant women had suffered major depressive disorder, a condition characterized by feelings of dread, gloom and hopelessness, and a loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities.
Depression is not only happens to pregnant women but also happens before pregnancy when they are undergoing medication.
"Pregnancy just by its nature can bring out some underlying psychiatric and emotional issues. Treatment of depression during pregnancy is critically important so that a woman can maintain her sense of well-being and take good care of herself, her fetus and, someday, her child." said co-author Deirdre Lyell.
Depression, if left untreated, can pose risks to both mother and baby.
The research was done on 150 women whose pregnancies were between 12 and 30 weeks gestation and who met the criteria for major depressive disorder.
The women were divided in groups to receive one of three treatments: acupuncture specific for depression; control acupuncture, during which needles were inserted in points not known to help alleviate depressive symptoms or massage. The women received eight weeks of therapy and were assessed for depression at the four- and eight-week marks by an interviewer who was unaware of the treatment being given.
The researchers found that women who received the depression-specific acupuncture experienced a bigger reduction in depression symptoms than the women in the other groups.