Postpartum depression (PPD) affects approximately 13 percent of women and is brought on by a change in hormone levels after childbirth. Being a new mom can be overwhelming and feelings of insecurity are normal. Unfortunately, for some women these feelings turn into extreme anxiety or sadness and can inhibit a woman’s ability to care for herself and her new baby.
PPD can begin any time after childbirth, but women usually start feeling depressed one week to a month after delivery. For some women PPD can start slowly and then build for three to four months. To be properly diagnosed and discuss treatment options, talk to your doctor at the first signs of sadness or depression. Without treatment, depression can affect critical mother/child bonding, leading to long-term consequences for your child that can result in developmental delays and behavior problems.
Depression affects approximately 350 million people worldwide, with 16.1 million of those suffering in the U.S. Statics show that one in every seven women will experience at least one depressive episode in their lifetime, with 10 to 15 percent of women developing post-partum depression.
There are several treatment strategies for depression that work for many women, including counseling and taking antidepressant medication. Unfortunately, these don’t work for all women. Fortunately, there is a revolutionary new treatment for people that suffer from depression – TMS therapy. Of the patients that have undergone the therapy, 1 in 2 patients improve significantly, and 1 in 3 patients become completely free of depression symptoms.
The FDA-approved TMS therapy is a drug-free, non-invasive treatment done in a physician’s office and lasts about 45 minutes. By using a MRI-strength magnetic field to stimulate the front part of the brain, the core symptoms of major depression can be painlessly alleviated with no side effects. Some people notice temporary improvement as early as the first or second week as existing neural circuits are stimulated. Repeated treatment over several weeks gradually encourages new circuits to form, making depression relief self-sustaining for many patients
Adjusting to being a new mom can be a challenge for any woman. Living with PPD can enhance this feeling and make things look hopeless at times. Fortunately, with the proper care from your doctor and the right treatment option, you can be on your way to feeling better and enjoying your new baby.
Be sure to read next week’s blog on identifying work related stresses and how they can lead to depression.