One of the agonizing choices that any expectant mother faces is whether or not to take medications during pregnancy for conditions that develop during the nine months. What if they find some problem or birth defect that the drug could cause — but they learn about it years after the pregancy is over.
Now a new study from Stanford University in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology has shown that acupuncture could provide an alternative to drugs for depression during pregnancy. Acupuncture needs much more study for its safety, but as many proponents will tell you, it has a track record covering thousands of years (compared with just a few years for many drugs on the market today). The study compared tailored acupuncture with two types of control groups, one getting acupuncture in points believed to be unrelated to the specific depression problem and one group getting massage. This isn’t to say that massage might not be a great way to relax and unwind, but it may not provide the kind of help with mood problems that you might get from trying a course of acupuncture.
As with any alternative or over the counter treatment, check with your own physician to make sure the treatment is OK in terms of safety for you. But, now, at least, there is a potential option available for women who need help with depressed mood while pregnant but who do not want to create uncertain lifetime risks for their unborn child during development from the medications. Check out acupuncture instead.