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Acupuncture Healing for Women: Treating Pregnancy’s Depression with Acupuncture

Updated on October 30, 2012

Depression is something that accompanies pregnancy more often that most women like to admit. Even though we are all aware of the fact that post-partum depression is a serious problem for some women, most of us don’t openly discuss the relationship of pregnancy to depression. We still think of pregnancy as a time when women are supposed to be happy when the truth of the matter is that a long of things are going on in the body at this time that can cause depression. Unfortunately, because we aren’t talking about this openly, many women don’t realize that it’s possible to treat this problem. One method of treating the depression associated with pregnancy could be acupuncture.

More about depression and pregnancy

Pregnancy is something that causes many, many changes to take place in the body. Hormonal changes can throw the body out of whack. Additionally, there are thoughts going on in your mind when you are pregnant that are confusing and conflicting. Although you may truly be very excited about being pregnant, you may also find yourself worried about the changes that it’s going to bring to your life. These worries can get out of control and manifest themselves as depression.

Unfortunately, this is not something that we talk about very openly in this society. We still talk about it in a very roundabout way. While we acknowledge that some women do suffer from serious post-partum depression that requires medication, we don’t typically acknowledge the fact that the average woman can be very susceptible to low or moderate levels of depression during and after her pregnancy.

Many women are reluctant to open up about the fact that they are feeling depressed during their pregnancy. They may feel guilty about the fact that they aren’t joyous all of the time about their new baby. They may feel like others will look down upon them for being depressed during this time of their lives. They may have always struggled with some form of depression that they were unable to address and now does not seem like the time to start dealing with the problem.

It’s frightening that we don’t discuss this problem more openly. It’s a problem that can cause serious issues for both mother and child if it is not addressed. Women who are depressed may find it difficult to properly care for themselves during pregnancy. This can obviously have very negative consequences for the baby as well as for the mother. Women experiencing depression after the baby is born may find it even more difficult to care for themselves as well as for the baby that is now under their care.

Treating depression during pregnancy

Even women who discuss their feelings of depression with others during their pregnancy may be reluctant to try to do anything to treat the depression. The most common treatment for depression is to take psychiatric medication. However, most women do not want to take this type of medication during pregnancy. We still do not know the effects of this type of medication on a growing fetus. Likewise, women who are experiencing post-partum depression may not want to take medication like this because of the fact that they are breastfeeding. Although they are depressed, these women are not interested in harming their babies. They would rather try to suffer through the depression than to risk their baby’s health by taking these medications.

Because it is so unlikely that women would take these medications while pregnant, it is very important to come up with alternative medical treatments for depression during and just after pregnancy. Another common method of treating depression is through psychotherapy. However, this is a long-term solution that may not help with the immediate problem of depression. As a result, women experiencing depression during pregnancy may want to look to alternative medicine for a solution. Herbal cures, meditation, yoga, aromatherapy and other forms of alternative medicine may be helpful in easing depression for these patients.

Studying acupuncture’s benefits

One of the alternative treatments that may be useful in treating women suffering from depression during pregnancy is acupuncture healing. This treatment uses small needles that are inserted into the body at certain pressure points in order to resolve health problems. Many people have said that acupuncture can treat depression. It is something that is safe for mother and child both during and after pregnancy and therefore might be a great solution for depressed women who need this type of alternative health cure because of their pregnancy.

A new study shows that this could definitely be an option for such women. The study was completed at Stanford University. It showed that approximately two thirds of pregnant women suffering from depression would feel their depression relieved because of acupuncture healing treatments. The study looked at other treatment options for these women as well and found that less than half of the women receiving these other treatments reported an improvement in their experience of depression. This indicates that acupuncture healing might be the best treatment for depression in pregnant women.

Opening up the conversation

The most important thing about this study is really that it opens up the conversation about women and depression during pregnancy. It is possible that as many as 14% of women experience depression during pregnancy. Many women experience depression after pregnancy. The fact that we’re starting to finally talk about this serious problem is a good thing. It’s also great that acupuncture may provide a cure, of course, but the most important thing is that the problem is finally being discussed.

A related issue: Acupuncture Fertility

It is worth noting that a related issue is the issue of acupuncture fertility. Women suffering from infertility may expression related symptoms of depression. Acupuncture fertility treatment can treat the depression as well as the infertility.


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  • katiem2 profile image

    katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

    What a great idea, makes a lot of sense. Imagine what good this would do after the fact as well... Peace :)