The National Institute of Mental Health is currently recruiting participants for a clinical study to see if using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to guide repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) helps locate the best area for treatment and to explore [..]
DEPRESSION AND PREGNANCY
Pregnancy can be a wonderful time full of anticipation and excitement. However, anticipation can turn to anxiety and excitement to stress. These normal feelings can be magnified with pressures from trying to get pregnant or prepare for the coming child. Women suffering from depression while trying to get pregnant suffer not only the stress of trying to conceive but also with a major medical issue. Struggling to conceive alone can tax a woman’s mental health leading to low self esteem, social isolation, marital problems and even depression. Traditional antidepressants often fail in these particular cases as they can both impact a woman’s sexual function and harm the fetus because they are systemic and, therefore, cross into the baby’s bloodstream.
There are many physical and mental changes that happen to a woman’s body when she is pregnant that can increase the risk of developing an episode of MDD. Depression that develops while a woman is pregnant is called Perinatal Depression and affects 10-20% of pregnant women. In addition to the impact depression can have on the life of an individual, MDD is particularly problematic for a pregnant woman.
Problems Associated with Perinatal Depression:
- Conflict with your partner
- Early delivery
- Lower baby birth weight
- Loss of connection with child
- Poor fetal attachment
- Higher probability of developing PPD
Until recently, the typical treatment for women suffering from depression during pregnancy was antidepressant medications. However, many women are reluctant to take antidepressants because of the potential side effects for their unborn child. Unlike antidepressant medications that pass through a woman’s entire system, TMS is non-systemic. It does not enter the mother’s bloodstream. TMS treatment is focused on the mother’s brain with no impact on the child she carries.
EVIDENCE OF TMS THERAPY CLINICAL RESULTS FOR WOMEN SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY
The following data highlights the results from a pilot study, “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Pregnant Women with Major Depressive Disorder”.
- 12 Women were treated
- 9 of 12 women responded
- All infants were admitted to the well-baby nursery
- Mother and baby were discharged as normal.
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