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What Is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression (also known as peripartum depression) is a condition that affects women who are pregnant or have recently given birth.
Women who experience postpartum depression often feel extreme sadness, anxiety, and indifference.
Postpartum depression is also different than a common condition called “baby blues.”
Women who experience “baby blues” typically have similar symptoms to postpartum depression. “Baby blues” also go away sooner than postpartum depression.
There is not a singular cause of postpartum depression. Health professionals believe that physical and emotional issues can influence postpartum depression.
After you give birth, different hormone levels in your body drop dramatically. This significant decrease in estrogen and progesterone can lead to postpartum depression.
It’s no secret that new mothers do not sleep much. This lack of sleep can take a toll on your emotions.
Common symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Feeling sad and depressed
- Changes in appetite, sleep, and energy levels
- Feeling uninterested or anxious around the baby
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty focusing and thinking
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
- Thoughts of harming the baby
- Feeling guilty
- Feeling like you are not a good mother
- Significant increase or decrease in physical activity levels
There are many symptoms associated with postpartum depression, and their severity varies. Women often experience multiple symptoms at the same time.
Who Is Affected by Postpartum Depression?
Any new mother, surrogate, or gestational carrier is at risk for postpartum depression. Women who are predisposed to mental health issues like depression and anxiety are at a higher risk for postpartum depression.
New mothers are also at a higher risk for postpartum depression if they are stressed in other areas of their lives.
The partners of new mothers can also experience postpartum depression.
Partners who are already at risk of depression are more likely to experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Financial instability is also linked to postpartum depression in partners.
How Does TMS Work?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS therapy uses magnetic fields to stimulate your brain’s nerve cells. The magnetic pulses are repetitive, and the treatment is noninvasive.
The magnetic pulses activate regions in your brain related to depression and mood. These magnetic pulses are sent through your brain by an electromagnetic coil attached to your scalp.
People who have used transcranial magnetic stimulation report little to no side effects. Also, TMS therapy does not require that you be put under anesthesia.
TMS is administered during several sessions each week. It may take several weeks of TMS for you to feel relief from your symptoms. Although, most people who do TMS find that the effects are long-lasting.
Although TMS therapy is painless, patients often say they feel a tapping sensation on their heads. Nothing is actually tapping them. They are feeling the magnetic fields pulsing through their brain.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is also cleared by the FDA and recommended by the APA to treat depression.
Why Is TMS for Postpartum Depression a Better Option?
There are many different types of therapies for postpartum depression. Finding the right one for you is vital for your health and for your baby’s health.
Here are a few reasons why people are choosing TMS therapy over other postpartum depression treatments:
Non-Drug Treatment Option
Many women who breastfeed their babies seek out a non-drug treatment option. TMS is a treatment option that has been proven to have no effect on breastmilk.
TMS is also a good option for new mothers whose bodies are resistant to antidepressant pills. It may also be effective for those who have not seen improvement from taking antidepressants.
Little to No Side Effects
Compared to other forms of postpartum depression treatment, TMS has fewer and less severe side effects. Unlike when taking antidepressants, TMS does not cause weight gain, drowsiness, or insomnia.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ETC) is another form of postpartum depression treatment. It has severe side effects like memory loss.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-systemic treatment option. This means that, unlike oral antidepressants, TMS does not affect other systems in the body.
When undergoing TMS, your brain is the only part of your body that is affected.
Seeking TMS Therapy for Postpartum Depression
When deciding the best way to take care of yourself, it is important that you understand all of your options.
After reading this and learning more about postpartum depression and TMS, you may feel like transcranial magnetic stimulation can help you. If so, we are here to help.
We at The TMS Center of the Hudson Valley have given over 10,000 treatments in our office, and 72% of our patients achieve significant improvement.
Contact us for more information on how TMS for postpartum depression can help you.
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The TMS Center of the Hudson Valley is the first established TMS treatment center in Poughkeepsie, New York and the Hudson Valley. Our mission is to provide personalized and effective TMS treatments for our patients.