Acupuncture for Depression During Pregnancy

Acupuncture for Depression During Pregnancy.  A Randomized Controlled Trial

A total of 150 pregnant women who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria for major depressive disorder were randomized to receive either acupuncture specific for depression or one of two active controls: control acupuncture or massage.  The short acupuncture protocol demonstrated symptom reduction and a response rate comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy. (Obstetrics & Gynecology.  VOL. 115, NO. 3, MARCH 2010)

A Stanford University study did show that women who responded to acupuncture treatment reported significantly less depression at 10 weeks postpartum.  Overall, 69 percent of the women responded to the acupuncture specific for depression, a rate comparable to the 50 percent to 70 percent response rates in clinical trials of standard depression treatments.  The study concluded that acupuncture holds promise as a safe and effective treatment of depression during pregnancy.