Is It Safe to Treat My Postpartum Depression with Ketamine Therapy?

Is It Safe to Treat My Postpartum Depression with Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine is a unique medication that through novel pathways is shown to ease depression. People consider ketamine when they want to avoid traditional antidepressants, or when conventional antidepressants have failed to work. 

Our team at ReNew Wellness and East Valley Serenity Health is dedicated to offering patients in the Gilbert, Arizona, area innovative wellness therapies to help you reach and maintain optimal well-being. We focus on providing exceptional primary care and mental health care.

We’ve helped patients successfully reign in their depression using ketamine, and this therapy is shown to both prevent and treat postpartum depression. Let’s discuss how ketamine infusions fight postpartum depression and why it’s an innovative option to consider. 

What is ketamine and how does it combat depression?

Ketamine is a dissociative medication with a long history of safe use as an anesthetic. In addition to its dissociative properties, ketamine has novel antidepressant qualities. It blocks certain receptors in your brain, which stimulates glutamate production. This causes your brain to create new neural connections.

A disturbance in the glutamatergic system is consistently found in mood disorders, according to research. Glutamate is the master brain chemical that plays a key role in mood regulation, memory, and cognition. 

Ketamine’s effect on altering glutamate makes your brain more adaptable, allowing you to develop more positive thoughts and behaviors. Essentially ketamine rewires to quickly alleviates symptoms such as excessive worry, disturbing thoughts, and limiting beliefs.

Additionally, ketamine increases a protein associated with mood control known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This too contributes to the antidepressant effects of ketamine. BDNF plays a role in the neuroplasticity of your brain, which is your brain’s ability to evolve and change. Patients with depression are found to have lower BDNF levels than those who aren’t depressed.

Ketamine works within hours in most cases

Ketamine is unique in several ways. Traditional antidepressants take several weeks to months to work. This can leave you to battle ongoing depression for up to three months before your symptoms improve. Many women recently diagnosed with postpartum depression may need relief much sooner. 

Ketamine infusion therapy is a safe and innovative therapy that works rapidly. Many patients begin feeling relief within an hour of their infusion. 

Ketamine offers long-term benefit

One of the most exciting and remarkable aspects of ketamine is its ability to provide long-term depression relief. Because ketamine rewires your brain, enabling you to let go of worry and limiting thoughts and helping you to develop a more positive mindset, it offers long-term benefits. 

Ketamine prevents postpartum depression

The National Institutes of Health conducted a study of 654 women to examine the potential benefits of ketamine in preventing postpartum depression. Researchers found that ketamine IV infusions given shortly after delivery significantly reduced postpartum depression symptoms in women having cesarean sections. 

These findings were especially effective in new mothers who had symptoms of depression or stress before giving birth.

Ketamine and breastfeeding

Because there hasn’t yet been significant research on the safety of ketamine therapy while breastfeeding, the World Health Organization (WHO) doesn’t recommend that a mother breastfeed while undergoing ketamine therapy. 

To be safe, health care providers recommend pumping prior to therapy, abstaining from feedings for two days after treatment by pumping and dumping, and then starting regular feedings on the third day after ketamine treatments.

Postpartum depression differs from the typical “baby blues” in that it’s more intense and disruptive to daily life. It also tends to last longer than the baby blues, which often resolves within a few weeks of giving birth. 

If you’re struggling with, or are at risk for postpartum depression, our team at Renew Wellness and East Valley Serenity Health can help. To learn more about ketamine infusion therapy for preventing and treating postpartum depression, call our office or book an appointment online today.

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