September 15

How to treat postpartum depression

Bringing home a new baby can be an exciting and scary event. Family members often find themselves having difficulty learning how to adjust to this dynamic in the early days of an infant. The new mother’s hormones are still fluctuating as well as the emotions of the family members. It is not uncommon for there to be bouts of frustration, anger, and sadness. Eventually hormones do level-off and individuals develop a new rhythm to their daily routines. For some mothers, the feelings of sadness and frustration do more than linger. They become more severe, and the depression becomes more long lasting. When these symptoms last longer than two weeks and become more severe, the new parent is suffering from Postpartum Depression (PPD). 

Women experiencing postpartum depression may have difficulty regulating their mood, inability to sleep, intense rage, excessive crying, and feelings of hopelessness. Postpartum depression primarily effects new mothers, but it can affect new fathers as well. New fathers may experience severe anxiety, drastic changes in their behavior, feeling overwhelmed and/or fatigued. In both cases, the chances of experiencing postpartum depression increase when you have a history of depression prior to the birth of a child.  

If you believe you’re experiencing postpartum depression you do not have to be embarrassed. It is a common event that many new parents experience. It is important to reach out to loved ones or medical professionals if you experience any of the following: 

  • Your symptoms last more than two weeks 
  • Your symptoms are getting progressively worse 
  • Your symptoms prevent you from taking care of yourself 
  • You have thoughts of harming yourself or your child 

This condition may require mental health intervention to regulate the tumultuous swing of emotions. Speaking to a medical professional can help. You may be wondering how to treat postpartum depression. A medical professional can provide you with information on how to manage your postpartum symptoms and recommend the appropriate treatment. An increasingly preferred method of treatment is TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). Many new mothers appreciate the benefits of TMS because it is non-pharmacological and non-invasive. They are able to comfortably breast feed their child without fear of any medication passing through breast milk (even if it is a low level). The non-invasive treatment takes a small fraction of time, allowing new parents a large amount of time to still bond with their infant. TMS treatment can be used by both new mothers and new fathers. Parents can begin finding relief for their postpartum and depression symptoms with TMS therapy. 


What Is TMS? 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an FDA approved treatment for chronic depression. The region of the brain that controls depression symptoms also control anxiety symptoms. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been recognized by clinicians as a promising treatment for individuals suffering from depression.  

If you are suffering from postpartum depression and looking for an effective treatment that does not rely on medication, TMS can help. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (or TMS) is a noninvasive form of brain stimulation. The nerve cells that are connected to anxiety and depression are stimulated, effecting and altering the brain’s neurotransmitter levels.   

TMS therapy is an intensive approach which has shown to activate regions of the brain that have become dormant. The treatment requires several sessions over a period of time, with relief being provided after a few.    

TMS is a a non-drug treatment that helps provide relief from severe depression and anxiety without the physical side effects associated with medications. This therapy is an outpatient procedure that allows patients to maintain their daily routines while receiving treatment for their anxiety.   

Patients are not prevented from participating in their daily routines from their TMS treatment for depression. New mothers who are breastfeeding won’t have to agonize over fear of their depression medication being potentially transmitted to their infants. (It is important to note that if your psychiatrist recommends you staying on depression medication you should discuss with them your concerns and options. Mental health clinicians would never recommend to abruptly stop ANY treatment.) Patients can utilize TMS treatment for their depression by itself or in conjunction with a medication regimen and talk therapy. Each person is different and the nature of their postpartum symptoms may vary.  

If you are struggling with Postpartum Depression and are confused about where to start looking for help, please call Gemini TMS (301) 363-1063. We are a team of mental health professionals who can help treat and manage your depression symptoms.  


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