Helping Mothers Recover from the “Baby Blues”
Clinical depression rates among women are double those of men, often explained as the result of hormonal changes women experience starting with puberty. Although hormonal fluctuations are a significant contributing factor to the high rates of depression among women, life circumstances and general life stressors can compound the mood disorder.
After childbirth a woman’s hormone levels drop quickly and dramatically, sparking a common condition among about 80% of new mothers referred to as the “baby blues.” This temporary phase of fatigue and tearfulness is normal after having a baby and is typically resolved in a couple weeks with no medical intervention needed. However, when a woman experiences postpartum depression, a serious condition that impacts about three million woman each year, the symptoms are much more intense and can interfere with a mother’s ability to care for her baby, herself, and her family.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a serious mood disorder that may be triggered by both physical (hormonal) and emotional causes that result in a shift in brain chemistry. New mothers with this condition experience feelings of intense sadness combined with extreme exhaustion that prevents them from completing daily tasks related to the care of her newborn, or even themselves.
The symptoms of postpartum depression may include:
- Depressed mood
- Severe mood swings
- Feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, or guilt
- Severe anxiety or panic attacks
- Crying for no apparent reason
- Oversleeping or being unable to sleep
- Feelings of anger and range
- Change in eating habits
- Trouble with concentration and decision making
- Feelings of irritability and restlessness
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty bonding with new baby
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Thoughts of harming self or baby
If a new mother experiences any of these symptoms she should seek the advice of a medical provider, as postpartum depression can be treated. If the condition is not addressed, symptoms will worsen and the condition will be prolonged, putting the mother and child both at risk.
Some women will be predisposed to developing postpartum depression. These women may have one or more of the risk factors, including:
- History of depression
- A family member who was diagnosed with depression or another mental illness
- Ambiguous feelings about the pregnancy
- A lack of emotional support from her spouse or partner
- Experiencing a significant stressful event during or shortly after the pregnancy, such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, serious illness, or domestic violence
- Substance use disorder
- Medical complications during childbirth or having a baby with medical problems
Postpartum Depression Treatment Massachusetts
Treatment for postpartum depression initially consists of a combination of antidepressant therapy with psychotherapy. Although the medications are generally thought to be safe to take while breastfeeding, some new mothers may not feel comfortable taking these drugs. In this case, an alternative treatment, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may be an effective therapy for postpartum depression.
TMS postpartum depression treatment Massachusetts is a safe, noninvasive therapy that has been proven to be effective in treating major depression. TMS does not carry the risks of anesthesia, as no sedation is required during the treatment sessions. The TMS treatment uses electro-magnetic pulses that penetrate the scalp and target the limbic region in the left prefrontal cortex of the brain, the mood center. By stimulating the underactive brain neurons TMS can lead to a rebalancing of brain chemistry, which results in improved mood, sleep quality, and concentration.
Achieve TMS East Leading Provider of TMS Postpartum Depression Treatment Massachusetts
Achieve TMS East offers hope to women struggling with postpartum depression who could not be treated with antidepressants, or had no success after trialing them. Using TMS technology, the expert doctors at Achieve TMS East strive to ease the symptoms of severe depression and enable mothers to experience the joy of motherhood that has evaded them due to postpartum depression. For more information about how TMS can help you, contact our friendly staff today at (877) 297-5816.