Treatment for the Pregnancy Blues
Your body undergoes so many changes during your pregnancy—from hormone shifts, to emotional upheavals, to physical transformations. Many of these pregnancy changes are triggered by the influx of hormones preparing your body for pregnancy and eventually childbirth. These new sensations may leave you irritable, weepy, anxious, or even depressed.
Because many depression treatments are unsafe for pregnant women, more doctors are looking to alternative treatments such as acupuncture and acupressure.
A 2004 Stanford University Study found that acupuncture holds promise for the treatment of depression during pregnancy. The study, involving 61 pregnant women with major depressive disorder tested over an eight-week period, discovered that women treated with acupuncture had significantly lower depression scores at 10 weeks postpartum than those not receiving the therapy.
Treatment for Pregnancy Aches and Pains
If you are seeking a way to ease your physical discomforts without relying on medications, acupuncture or acupressure may help. Kathleen M. Bynum, DO, PA, a member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and acupuncturist in Dallas, Texas, suggests, "[Acupressure and acupuncture] can be used for all kinds of common pain conditions in pregnancy, such as lower back pain, headaches, and nausea." She continues, "There are so few medications that one can take in pregnancy, so women want to try to treat the pain with as few drugs as possible."
Additionally, a Swedish study published a March 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal, found that acupuncture relieves pelvic girdle pain (which wraps around the lower back and stomach of women during their last trimester). According to the studies, "[Acupuncture] offers clear clinical advantages over standard treatment alone for reduction of pain." During the study, women who received acupuncture therapy when coupled with standard treatment experienced less pain when compared to a group that received only standard therapy.