Many women who are pregnant are reluctant to take anti depression drugs during pregnancy to combat the depression they experience due to the hormone changes they experience during their pregnancy. However, these women may be able to rest easy as a new study suggests that acupuncture may help to relieve depression during pregnancy.

A study at Stanford University used a group of 150 depressed women who were between 12 and 30 weeks pregnant. 52 of these women were slated to receive acupuncture to combat their depression while 49 were to receive regular acupuncture and 49 set to receive Swedish massage.

Each women in the study received 12 sessions of 25 minutes each – but they were not aware exactly which treatment they were getting.

After the study, almost two-thirds of the women who had acupuncture specifically to relieve depression experienced a reduction in at least 50% of their symptoms compared with under half of the women treated with massage or regular acupuncture.

You can read the findings in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.