Depression following a birth can range from sudden mood wings with unexpected bouts of crying, to feeling of exhaustion and an inability to cope, or even to feeling of guilt or anger about aspects of the delivery that did not go as planned. Persistent depression if often termed as “Postnatal Depression’. Indication of a depression that is not merely the baby blues include depression, that persists for more than two weeks and it accompanied by any of the following symptoms: sleeplessness, lack of appetite, persistent feeling of hopelessness, suicidal thoughts or urges.
In terms of patterns of disharmony, women in the postnatal period are prone to suffering from deficiency of qi, blood, blood stasis, invasion of pathogenic factors.
Li 2018 (SR & MA of 9 clinical trials including 653 women, demonstrated that the acupuncture group had a significantly greater overall effective rate compared with the control group; Moreover, acupuncture significantly increased oestradiol levels compared with the control group. Acupuncture appears to be effective for postpartum depression with respect to certain outcomes(1).
Reference Li S, Zhong W, Peng W, Jiang G. Effectiveness of acupuncture in postpartum depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2018 Oct;36(5):295-301.