Complementary Health Practices for Treating Perinatal Depression

Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2018 Sep;45(3):441-454. doi: 10.1016/j.ogc.2018.04.002.


This article provides a focused review of the evidence for several complementary health approaches (ie, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, physical activity, yoga) in the treatment of perinatal depression. There is evidence that some of these treatments may be reasonable to consider in women during pregnancy or the postpartum period. However, there are little data on the comparative safety and efficacy of these relative to traditional treatments (eg, psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy). Adequately powered high-quality studies are necessary to determine the role of complementary health practices for treating perinatal depression.

Keywords: Complementary; Depression; Nutraceuticals; Perinatal; Physical activity; Postpartum; Treatment; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Exercise
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Female
  • Folic Acid
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness
  • Peripartum Period / physiology
  • Peripartum Period / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Folic Acid