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.

Pregnant Woman

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.

Causes and risk factors for prenatal depression include:
Symptoms of Prenatal Depression

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.

Symptoms of prenatal depression include:

How Prenatal Depression Can Affect the Baby

If left untreated, prenatal depression may have a negative effect on the unborn baby.

Some of the potential harm that untreated prenatal depression can cause includes:

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.

Research shows that antidepressant medication can increase the chances of:

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.