Have you recently given birth and believe you may be experiencing postpartum depression (PDS)? Figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that “one in nine women experience PDS, with higher prevalence in certain states and subgroups of women.” Ketamine treatments in Los Angeles are a safe way to help if you’re noticing your moods shifting following the birth of your baby and if you are either not breastfeeding or would like to “pump-and-dump” for only short periods of time.

What is Postpartum Depression?

When women give birth, it’s common for their moods to shift up and down. These feelings are commonly referred to as the “baby blues.” Postpartum depression differs because these feelings last longer, are more intense, and may cause a mother to feel like she may not be able to handle daily activities. Unlike the “baby blues” that go away after a few weeks, postpartum depression typically needs treatment by a medical professional. Women who are experiencing this condition can find their symptoms are showing up before giving birth, sooner or later, or up to one year following. Under some circumstances, mothers developing postpartum depression already had a depression diagnosis before or throughout their pregnancy.

How Ketamine Works to Treat Depression

In 2019, the National Institutes of Health conducted a study of 654 women who gave birth by Caesarean section. During this study, researchers found that ketamine IV infusions administered shortly following delivery reduced postpartum depression symptoms significantly. These results were particularly successful in new moms showing signs of depression or stress before they gave birth, or who were at a high risk of committing suicide following.

How Does it Work?

It isn’t uncommon for new mothers who receive a diagnosis for postpartum depression to be prescribed SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). However, these medications can take several weeks to months to work, and those with severe postpartum depression may need relief much sooner, particularly since they have the added stress of juggling the pressures of everyday life with caring for a newborn. Additionally, the length of time that traditional antidepressants must be prescribed will, most likely, demand that the mother stop breastfeeding or risk possible negative effects of the medication on their newborns.

Ketamine infusion therapy is a safe and innovative treatment for women suffering from postpartum depression. Even though this drug has been around for years, clinics are turning to it more often now as an attractive alternative to conventional treatments. Ketamine infusion treatments usually relieve symptoms very quickly. 

Ketamine and Breastfeeding 

At this point in time, there has not been substantial research regarding the safety of ketamine therapy while breastfeeding, because of this the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend that a mother breastfeeds while undergoing Ketamine therapy. Healthcare providers recommend pumping prior to the therapy, abstaining feedings for two days after the treatment by pumping-and-dumping, then continuing with regular feedings from the third day post-Ketamine treatments to be safe. We do still recommend consulting with your personal healthcare provider prior to the therapy treatment. 

What is the Process?

Every new mother’s postpartum depression condition is unique. Therefore, the clinic she visits in Los Angeles will have a plan developed to meet her needs on an exclusive level. That way, she’s receiving the best outcome from her ketamine infusion therapy sessions. Extra time will be taken to not only get to know her as an individual but also regarding her condition and the challenges that have surfaced as a result. The speed at which ketamine works to help alleviate symptoms are particularly useful for women who are suffering from postpartum depression.

According to research conducted at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, ketamine works in a two-step process that begins with the brain’s circuits experiencing repair from depression. The next step involves a regeneration process that must be maintained with additional infusions. Otherwise, the effects of the treatment begin to wear off, and relapse could occur.

When you visit a ketamine clinic in Los Angeles for postpartum depression, the clinician will discuss your symptoms at length. That way, there’s little chance you’ll experience relapsing. Your consultation will involve going over a checklist regarding when your symptoms began and how ketamine can help relieve them, and how many treatments you’ll need to undergo.

Research Backing Ketamine’s Safety

Findings reported in the journal, Molecular Psychiatry, by researchers led by Mark Rasenick, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, indicate ketamine can help relieve depression in a short and longer term. The research involved participants who were treatment-resistant to traditional depression therapies. Two-thirds of them experienced fast-acting results that were long-lasting with little to no side effects.

Researchers have also found that, after observing 41 participants, weekly ketamine infusions show favorable results for those who have treatment-resistant depression. These findings are published by the American Journal of Psychiatry and conclude that patients receiving a single ketamine infusion experienced a significant reduction in their depression symptoms with little to no side effects.

According to a paper published by Scientific Reports, “Ketamine has been found effective on treatment-resistant depression patients, and here we showed it rapidly and lastingly alleviated the PPD-like symptoms, raising the possibility of the use of ketamine for patients with treatment-resistant PPD.”

What are Common Concerns Regarding Ketamine?

One concern of those who are turning to ketamine is the cost of the treatment. Even though clinics accept insurance, that doesn’t mean the insurance companies will cover the costs. However, there is a way to address this concern. Clinics are suggesting that patients use an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HSA (Healthcare Spending Account) with their insurance plan. In doing so, it’s possible to use their pre-tax dollars to budget payments for treatments.

Wrapping Up

Postpartum depression can be debilitating for mothers of newborns and ketamine is a very promising alternative to traditional antidepressants. Quick-acting and administered intermittently, ketamine may be more conducive to allowing mothers to continue breast-feeding as the period of “pumping-and-dumping” is limited. 

 

For more information about using ketamine for depression, contact Pacific Ketamine Institute today.

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