TMS for Prenatal Depression
TMS Therapy During Pregnancy
Treating Pregnant Mothers with Depression
using TMS Therapy
While many have heard of postpartum depression — the hormonally driven depression that affects new mothers after delivering a baby — less may have heard of prenatal depression.
Prenatal depression, also called perinatal depression, affects women during pregnancy. It is a maternal mood disorder that affects soon-to-be mothers, producing feelings of sadness, anxiety, and sometimes anger.
Treating depression during pregnancy can be challenging given standard treatments that include antidepressant medication. It’s most commonly recommended that pregnant women should not take certain medications due to the effect it can have on the baby.
Inland Empire TMS in Riverside County, CA, advocates the safe use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat depression in pregnant women.
About Prenatal Depression
Prenatal depression is underdiagnosed in pregnant women, but figures suggest that around 12% of pregnant women are suffering from prenatal depression.
Causes and Risk Factors
The risk factors for prenatal depression are thought to be a mixture of hormonal changes, coupled with external factors.
Symptoms of Prenatal Depression
Many women can feel tearful during their pregnancy, frequently due to changes in their hormonal levels. Prenatal depression is far more than simply feeling tearful.
How Prenatal Depression Can Affect the Baby
If left untreated, prenatal depression may have a negative effect on the unborn baby.
For all these reasons, it’s vital that women suffering from prenatal depression are provided with a robust solution.
How Antidepressant Medications can Affect the Baby
Antidepressant medication is one of the standard treatments for depression, alongside talking therapy and practical measures to relieve stress.
Unfortunately, antidepressant medication can have negative effects on the unborn baby.
Pregnant women are generally discouraged from taking medication, due to its potential to affect the baby.
Given that untreated prenatal depression is associated with negative outcomes for mother and baby (and that medication could also have negative effects) TMS could be the perfect solution.
How TMS Can Help Women Avoid Medication During Pregnancy
TMS is a safe alternative to antidepressants that’s been proven to relieve the symptoms of prenatal depression in a significant number of sufferers.
TMS works by using magnetic fields to stimulate specific parts of the brain associated with mood. Research has shown that stimulating these regions of the brain can result in the relief of depressive symptoms.
TMS is non-invasive and provides a mechanical, rather than a chemical treatment for depression.
Although it stimulates the brain in a similar manner to ECT, TMS works much differently. Unlike ECT, TMS does not directly apply electricity to the brain — nor does it trigger seizures, headaches, or similar potentially traumatic events.
TMS has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression in pregnant women and new mothers.
A review of studies by the MGM Center for Women’s Mental Health found that:
The above studies all included postpartum women with mild to moderate depression.
The TMS technique can make a noticeable difference after just a few sessions, which is important for pregnant women who only have a few months to improve their mental health before the baby arrives.
Inland Empire TMS' Approach to Treating Pregnant Mothers with TMS
Inland Empire TMS is a leading provider of TMS for the treatment of prenatal depression. Our clinical team is well versed in the treatment of depression in pregnant women, having published several studies on the topic.
Inland Empire TMS is well versed with the MGH Center’s guidelines on the use of TMS on Pregnant women and utilizing the carefully constructed protocol. The result is a safe, effective treatment that’s well-tolerated and that has been shown to deliver measurable benefits in a relatively short space of time.
Get in touch with Inland Empire TMS to find out more about how TMS could play a role in the treatment of prenatal depression.