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February 23, 2010

Acupuncture may offer a drug-free alternative in pregnancy

CALIFORNIA: Researchers 've found that acupuncture may offer a drug-free alternative for treating depression in pregnant women. A study found that more pregnant women with depression benefited from acupuncture than those who had a sham treatment with needles or an ordinary massage.
Two thirds of women who had the real acupuncture reported a significant improvement of their symptoms, compared to less than half of those who had the other treatments.
accu3At Stanford University School of Medicine, in California the study of 150 women with depression was conducted by a team & is published in the journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
The researchers said that the approach may be particularly beneficial as depression in pregnancy can cause serious complications if left untreated & yet women 're reluctant to take drugs while carrying their child.
"This standardised acupuncture protocol could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy. Because there is this concern about medication among pregnant women & their physicians, it's important to find an alternative," said Lead author Dr. Rachel Manber, professor of psychiatry & behavioural sciences.
Around 14% of pregnant women may 've depression & the condition is less well recognised than post-natal depression.
The researchers wrote, "It is thought the extra hormones during pregnancy may play a role in causing the condition or women may feel overwhelmed by the major changes they 're going through."
"Treatment of depression during pregnancy is critically important so that a woman can maintain her sense of well being & take good care of herself, her foetus and, someday, her child. I don't think that one-size-fits-all treatments 're appropriate for everyone, but acupuncture should be considered as an option. I hope that people will respect the rigorous methodology used in this blinded, randomized, controlled trial & accept the result: Traditional acupuncture was associated with a significant improvement in depression." said co-author Dr. Deirdre Lyell, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology.
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