Complementary therapies as adjuncts in the treatment of postpartum depression

J Midwifery Womens Health. Mar-Apr 2004;49(2):96-104. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2003.12.013.


Postpartum depression affects an estimated 13% of women who have recently given birth. This article discusses several alternative or complementary therapies that may serve as adjuncts in the treatment of postpartum depression. The intent is to help practitioners better understand the treatments that are available that their clients may be using. Complementary modalities discussed include herbal medicine, dietary supplements, massage, aromatherapy, and acupuncture. Evidence supporting the use of these modalities is reviewed where available, and a list of resources is given in the appendix.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture
  • Adult
  • Aromatherapy
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Massage
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal