Drug Free Postpartum Depression Treatment

Drug Free Postpartum Depression Treatment

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a prevalent condition which affects nearly 10-15{2997f8544d703ffd995cbf0748d9148f9150b33c2eb54c93a5197645ffc3f066} of new mothers and can lead to serious mental health issues if not treated properly. It is considered to be the most common complication post birth and a huge public health concern in the United States and around the world. The condition is often hard to diagnose and usually under diagnosed because new mothers are unaware of the symptoms. They tend to hide their feelings and assume that they do not have a problem.

The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes the following as signs and symptoms of postpartum depression:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
  • Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
  • Worrying or feeling overly anxious
  • Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
  • Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when the baby is asleep
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
  • Eating too little or too much

Luckily, there are a few different ways to treat postpartum depression. Healthcare providers will generally offer to prescribe medication but can also recommend a few drug free options including counseling therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Counseling therapy involves personal sessions with a mental health provider and the two types that are proven to be beneficial for postpartum depression are cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy.

New mothers tend to be reluctant to take prescription antidepressants, especially when they have chosen to breast feed their newest addition. However, postpartum depression is proven to not only be detrimental to the mother but also to her partner, other children, and the development of her infant. Research has shown that the condition can be both prevented and treated without drugs. Additional studies support the need for further post delivery visits from healthcare professionals and the use of TMS to treat their depression symptoms.

Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis, an associate professor at Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and Canada research chair in perinatal community health, examined the effectiveness of peer support to prevent postpartum depression in high-risk mothers.  Results showed that mothers who received peer support had half the risk of developing postpartum depression at 12 weeks after birth than those who went without any help. Dr. Dennis explains that women and family members need to be educated about postnatal depression prior to giving birth so that they can easily recognize symptoms.

Furthermore, TMS treatment has demonstrated positive results for women who are battling postpartum depression. These findings were presented at the American Psychiatric Association in 2016. Back in 2008, TMS received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression in adults and has since been able to provide a drug free therapeutic option to mothers experiencing postpartum depression. The process uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in regions of the brain that control mood in order to relieve patients from symptoms of depression. This procedure is noninvasive and can spare patients from the harmful side effects that come with antidepressant medications.

What can happen is postpartum depression is left untreated?

If left untreated, postpartum depression can last for a long period of time. The condition can interfere with a mother’s ability to care and connect with her child and can ultimately be detrimental to the child over health and wellbeing.

To find out more about TMS therapy contact TMS Neuro Institute, providers of transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat various forms of depression in Los Angeles. To schedule a consultation, call 888.823.4867 or book an appointment online here.