While many new mothers are full of joy and positive energy after having a baby, others suffer from a form of clinical depression that may require medical intervention. Postpartum depression can be devastating to a family and their loved ones, but conventional treatments such as antidepressant medications and counseling may not work to relieve symptoms. Medication also poses risk to the newborn via breastfeeding. We offer ketamine therapy for patients with mood disorders, including postpartum depression. Ketamine infusion therapy administered at low doses can be a viable alternative to many conventional treatments for depression. While conventional antidepressant medications have been shown to cause damage to fetuses, ketamine has not.
Understanding Postpartum Depression
Hormonal changes after childbirth or a miscarriage may be a trigger for postpartum depression. However, some women may develop depressive symptoms while they are pregnant and these symptoms typically last at least two weeks or may start after delivery, usually within four weeks. Common symptoms include depressed mood and irritability, decreased interest in pleasurable activities, significant weight changes, sleep problems, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, and even thoughts of death or suicide. Depressive symptoms may include anxiety and excessive worry that interfere with the mother’s ability to take care of the newborn and handle daily life stressors. This is particularly damaging to the entire family since this is such a crucial time for mother and child to bond.
Postpartum Depression Treatment Options
Antidepressant medications are a common course of treatment for mothers diagnosed with postpartum depression. The biggest drawback of prescribing Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) is that the drug can enter the breast milk when breastfeeding so it is best avoided when possible. In addition, SSRIs can take 4-6 weeks to take full effect and may cause many unpleasant side effects. Non-pharmacologic treatments may also be beneficial. Treatment options include:
- Antidepressants, including SSRIs
- Group based therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Talk therapy
Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Postpartum Depression
Dealing with depression as a new mother can be challenging for the mother and the family. Many medications take weeks to start working and a doctor may need to monitor the effects closely to determine the proper dosage. In addition, mothers need to be careful about certain types of drugs getting into the breast milk. Ketamine therapy may be an attractive alternative to conventional treatments for postpartum depression because of its high success rate treating mood disorders and it is fast-acting with little risk to the child. Depressive symptoms can be lifted within a matter of days instead of weeks. In addition, the patient does not need to become dependent on a drug to maintain a stable mood. As few as 6 infusions can provide many months of relief, plenty of time to form a healthy bond with the newborn and reassess longer-term treatment options, if necessary. Often, hormones and other PPD contributing factors have stabilized and no further treatment is needed at that point.
Ketamine infusions are not transmitted to the baby via breast milk and does not have any of the side effects associated with antidepressants. In addition, mothers who do enjoy results with ketamine infusions may not need to seek support outside the home, such as counseling or therapy, while they are busy taking care of their newborn.
Get Treatment for Postpartum Depression with Ketamine Therapy
If you or a loved one is suffering from postpartum depression, ketamine infusion therapy may be an attractive option for getting relief from symptoms. Complete a free Depression Assessment or contact Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles to learn more about the benefits of ketamine therapy for mood disorders.