Having a baby is one of the most amazing and beautiful events a woman can experience in her lifetime. Seeing the child emerge who has lived inside one’s womb for nine months is a moment no new mother ever forgets. Much care and preparation was made in advance of the birth, with supplies and clothing neatly organized at home. Both new parents, though exhausted from the birthing itself, gleefully snap their precious new cargo into a car seat and head home to begin the joyful journey of parenthood.
That is the plan, anyway. For most new mothers, the sheer joy of being able to be a mommy offsets the sleep deprivation most of them will experience for weeks on end. Exhaustion is balanced out by happiness, with hormone-related tearful moments here and there. But for 10-20% of new mothers, a more severe form of depression, called postpartum depression, can set in and cause a significant disruption in this period that should provide a sense of happiness and purpose.
Managing depression while breastfeeding a newborn offers unique challenges because mothers do not want to take prescription medications that could have an affect on their baby. For this reason, alternative therapies for treating depression are sought out that will offer relief from symptoms without impacting their baby’s health.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Most folks have heard the term “baby blues” to describe a short period following the birth of a child when hormones are shifting dramatically and tears are quick to appear at a moment’s notice. This is a normal response to the physical changes taking place in a woman’s body following childbirth.
However, a much more extreme type of depression impacts about 1 in 7 new mothers, called postpartum depression. Generally, postpartum depression has many of the same hallmark symptoms of clinical depression, Including:
- Feelings of sadness and despair
- Crying often, many times for no identifiable reason
- Difficulty bonding with the new baby
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, such as sex, food, or other interests
- Sleeping an excessive amount
- Trouble with concentration and memory
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feeling inadequate to care for the baby or take care of household duties
Postpartum depression can result from the added stresses of caring for a child, financial worries, lack of support, a history of depression, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and plummeting hormones.
Deep TMS Can Help Postpartum Depression
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) has shown to be a safe and effective treatment in alleviating the symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) with postpartum onset. Deep TMS is a noninvasive therapy that uses magnetic fields that are delivered through a coil and targeted to the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The electrical currents that result then stimulate the brain cells and activate neural activity in the brain’s mood center. The patient starts to feel improvements in sleep after about two weeks of sessions, and improved concentration and mood over the course of the 4-6 week regimen.
Because dTMS requires no sedation, the new mother can return to normal daily activities immediately following the sessions. There are virtually no side effects, although some have reported mild to moderate headache or some irritation at the scalp where the pulses are delivered.
A recent study out of Scotland presented at the American Psychiatric Association 2016 Annual Meeting demonstrated dramatic results for women suffering from postpartum depression. The majority of patients in the study experienced a positive outcome with remission of depressive symptoms after 4-8 weeks of TMS therapy—without the need for antidepressants.
Achieve TMS Centers is America’s Largest Provider of Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) for Depression
Achieve TMS Centers is the premier provider of dTMS in the nation, with offices located in California, Oregon, and Massachusetts. The doctors are experts in this exciting new treatment for MDD, dedicated to improving the lives of thousands. Our comfortable and relaxing office settings are a perfect environment for healing. For more information about this promising alternative therapy please call us today at (877) 447-6503.