According to a new study, acupuncture may be an effective way to treat depression in pregnant women.
Currently, nearly 20 percent of women report symptoms of despair during pregnancy, while approximately 10 percent meet the criteria for major depression. Coping with the disorder can be extremely difficult for many women who do not want to take anti-depressants during pregnancy out of concern for the developing fetus.
"Depression during pregnancy is an issue of concern because it has negative effects on both the mother and the baby as well as the rest of the family," said study author Rosa Schnyer.
In the study, a total of 150 pregnant women meeting the standards for major depressive disorder were separated into three groups. One-third of the respondents were given acupuncture specific for depression, another one-third was given control or "sham" acupuncture and the others were treated only with massage.
The researchers found that the women who received depression-specific acupuncture experienced a significantly greater decrease in symptoms related to the disorder.
Acupuncture may also be used to help alleviate symptoms associated with headaches, lower back pain and menstrual cramps.