Shockingly 1 in 7 women experience some sort of postpartum depression with most of them falling into the baby blues category. For symptoms that surpass a few weeks, women may move into the moderate postpartum depression category. While rare, 1 in 1000 women experiences postpartum psychosis which is the most severe form of PPD.
Some women don’t tolerate or like standard anti-depressants for their side effects or crossover with other medications that are taking. This is why Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation can be a great alternative or first choice when treating something past the baby blues.
Eliminating Transfer of Medication
One of the largest reasons that mothers don’t want to go on antidepressant medication is fear of transferring medication through breastfeeding to their child. Well, studies have shown that the transfer of antidepressants is generally low through breastfeeding, TMS is a guaranteed way of ensuring there will be no side effects transmitted to the baby at all.
This is because TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses electromagnetic therapy to target specific areas of the brain to reduce where depression develops. In best-case scenarios, this FDA-approved method can see the result in total remission from depression.
Ridding the Side Effects with Medication
Alternatively, mothers dislike the side effects that come with antidepressants because of the possible ways it affects their mothering. Being out of it or in a daze isn’t always appealing when trying to carefully watch over a newborn. Another unwanted side effect is the lack of emotion that can come with antidepressants. This can make a mother feel like they aren’t bonding with their baby which also can lead to more depression.
Known Side Effects with TMS
More often than not mothers just experience slight headaches and minor tenderness to the scalp. However, other possible and less common side effects are listed below.
- Mild headaches (common)
- Tenderness/pain in the area physically treated (common)
- Facial twitching
While these are the most common side effects, this list is not limited to just the above. A doctor can go over all the potential risks upon consultation. They will be able to recommend if TMS is the best treatment for you.
An Alternative Therapy
TMS is an attractive option for many patients not including just those who are experiencing postpartum depression. This is because TMS is an effective treatment for those with moderate to severe depression without having to introduce too many side effects that a mother may have a concern about when taking an antidepressant.
There have been several studies showing the success of TMS with mothers who are experiencing postpartum depression and it is an FDA-approved method. While TMS may have a few subtle side effects the ones the most common ones that mothers should be aware of are headaches and tenderness to the scalp.
While there are a few other side effects that your doctor can go over with you, TMS proves to be an excellent choice for mothers experiencing something a little more than the baby blues.