WHAT IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?
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 (PPD). Hormonal changes after childbirth or a miscarriage may be a trigger for postpartum depression. However, some women may develop symptoms while they are pregnant and these typically last at least two weeks or may start after delivery, usually within four weeks. Common symptoms include depressed mood and irritability, inability to feel pleasure, 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. Dealing with depression as a new mother can be challenging for the mother and the family.
What are options for Treating Postpartum Depression?
PPD can be devastating to a family and their loved ones. There are conventional treatments to relieve symptoms such as antidepressant medications, group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and counseling. These therapies and treatments work for many people; however, for some mothers these may not work to relieve symptoms of PPD.
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 their breast milk as many medications can pose risks to newborns via breastfeeding. Conventional antidepressant medications, such as SSRIs, are known to be present in breast milk and may cause harm to the baby.
Ketamine for Treating Postpartum Depression
Ketamine therapy is an attractive alternative to conventional postpartum depression “solutions” because of its high success rate in treating mood disorders with little risk to the child. Depressive symptoms can be lifted within hours to days instead of weeks to months. In addition, mothers who experience the rapid, beneficial results typically provided by ketamine infusions can quickly resume bonding with their newborn with minimal disruption. Furthermore, the patient does not need to become dependent on a drug to maintain a stable mood. As few as 2 or 3 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 has a short half-life. Ketamine is considered safe for use in infants and children receiving anesthesia, and can provide relief quickly, thus making it an ideal treatment for mothers with postpartum depression. However, it is not known whether ketamine is transmitted to the baby via breast milk. In the absence of more information, it may be prudent to avoid breastfeeding for a 2-day interval following ketamine infusions.
If you or a loved one is suffering from postpartum depression, ketamine therapy may be an option for getting relief from symptoms quickly and safely. Contact Wyoming Wellness Center to learn more about the benefits of ketamine therapy for PPD.
About Ketamine Therapy at Wyoming Wellness Center
At Wyoming Wellness Center, we offer the best possible care in our state-of-the-art facility. Our highly experienced, trained, and compassionate team consist of providers who have carefully considered the research and results of IV ketamine infusion therapy.
Mental health ketamine infusion therapy at Wyoming Wellness Center will start with an initial meeting with our mental health provider. From that meeting, you and our team will develop a plan for the course of care to be provided. If ketamine therapy is determined to be a good treatment option, it will initially consist of 8 infusions:
2 infusions week 1
2 infusions week 2
1 infusion week 3
1 infusion week 4
1st "Booster" week 6
2nd "Booster" week 8
Within this time frame, our team will work with you to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment, provide you with support, and collaborate with your primary mental health provider to assist you in learning skills and meeting your goals.
After your initial 8 infusions you will come back for "Booster" infusions on an as needed basis, based upon your symptoms and mood. Usually that is every 4-6 weeks but it may be less often based on your individual mood and symptoms.
Our staff at Wyoming Wellness Center recognize that every patient is unique and that individual responses to ketamine infusions will vary. Therefore, we will tailor your treatment course to you and your body’s needs. Your individual symptoms, needs, and goals of care will determine your course of treatment.
When you undergo ketamine therapy at Wyoming Wellness Center you are closely monitored by our highly experienced providers and nurses. We use hospital grade equipment to monitor all your vital signs, just like an ICU setting. You will be kept safe, in a comfortable, quiet, and relaxing environment.
Some patients experience short-term dizziness, nausea, and fatigue, but these sensations usually disappear rapidly. After 50 years of ketamine being administered at much higher doses, and approximately 10+ years of research on ketamine treatment for mood and pain disorders, there have been no long-term side effects noted at these low doses.
Following your initial treatment series, we will follow up with you, your primary care provider and your mental health provider to monitor your depressive symptoms, ensure your mental health counseling is progressing well and determine your need for maintenance infusions.
Over the last 10+ years, ketamine has been used successfully in treating mental health and chronic pain disorders. However, because it is not approved by the FDA for this secondary use, almost all insurance companies will not pay for ketamine infusion therapy. For that reason, we do not bill insurance companies. We will provide you with statements and the necessary billing codes, in the form of a superbill, for you to file a claim, if you desire to do so, and request a superbill from us.
If you or someone you love is in the grip of ongoing depression, ketamine treatment for mood disorders may help.
For further information you can also check out the links below:
Ketamine for PPD treatment
Office of Women’s Health
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)