For many new mothers having a baby represents a source of joy and positive energy. However, some of the moms develop a condition known as a postpartum depression.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Childbirth or a miscarriage are followed by a great number of hormonal changes that may trigger postpartum depression. In some women, symptoms may develop during pregnancy and those symptoms typically last about two weeks. However, in most cases postpartum depression occurs within four weeks after delivery.
Common postpartum depression symptoms include:
- Depressed mood
- Significant changes in weight
- Sleep problems
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Suicidal ideation
The symptoms of postpartum depression may also include excessive worry and anxiety, interfering with the mother’s ability to handle daily life tasks and take care of the newborn. As the period after the birth is crucial for mother-child bonding, postpartum depression can be extremely damaging to the family.
Postpartum Depression Treatment Options
Postpartum depression is typically treated with both non-pharmacologic treatments and antidepressant medications. However, antidepressants typically take 4 to 6 weeks to take full effect and may cause unpleasant side effects.
Common treatment options for Postpartum depression include:
- Antidepressants, including SSRIs
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Talk therapy
- Group therapy
Postpartum Depression Treatment with Ketamine
Postpartum depression can alternatively be treated with ketamine therapy, as ketamine treatments have very high success rate in treating mental and mood disorders with very little
Postpartum depression can alternatively be treated with ketamine therapy, as ketamine treatments have very high success rate in treating mental and mood disorders with very little risks to the mother or child. Instead of weeks or months with conventional treatment methods, with ketamine the depressive symptoms can disappear within hours to days.
One of the major benefits is that ketamine treatment doesn’t make the patient drug-dependent in order to maintain a stable mood. As little as 6 infusion over the period of 2 to 3 weeks can bring months free of depression, if not a complete relief. This leaves plenty of time to a new mother to form a much needed, healthy bond with her newborn and then reassess long-term treatment options if needed. In most cases, hormones and other factors contributing to postpartum depression will stabilize in a matter of couple of months and no further treatments will be needed, especially for those patients who haven’t previously suffered from depression.
Ketamine and Breastfeeding?
It is not yet established for certain whether ketamine can be transmitted to the newborn via breast milk if a mother takes ketamine infusions. As ketamine has a short half-life and first pass phenomenon, it is unlikely that a detectable amount of ketamine can make its way to the baby through the milk.
It is known that conventional antidepressants (SSRI) on the other hand are known to linger in the breast milk and are proven to be able to harm a baby.
Until a more definite conclusion is established, it is prudent to avoid breastfeeding during the ketamine infusion treatment interval.
It is worth noting that ketamine is considered safe for use in children and infants who need to receive anesthesia and is the preferred anesthetic to be used for this age group.