Thursday, May 11, 2006

Study examines antidepressant therapies for pregnant women

The glossy images of pregnancy often show a woman radiant with happiness. "There is a belief that pregnancy is a state of bliss," said Rachel Manber, PhD. "That's not necessarily the case."

Indeed, reports show that one in five pregnant women suffer moderate to severe depression during pregnancy, and many mothers-to-be find themselves feeling anxious, dejected and listless.

Manber, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, and her research colleagues are aiming to combat the problem. They have begun work on a study examining alternatives to antidepressants for pregnant women suffering from depression. During this study - a first of its kind - 180 women will be randomized to receive either acupuncture or massage therapy to assess these alternative therapies' effectiveness in treating depression.

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