How Ketamine Infusion treats Postpartum Depression

The birth of a baby can set off a farrago of emotions ranging from happiness and excitement to anxiety and distress. Quite surprisingly, it can also trigger something that one may not usually expect in such a situation – depression. Around 10 percent of the new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. However, experts suggest that the prevalence might be even higher as many women do not seek consultation.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of the brand-new mothers experience postpartum baby blues – an emotional state in which they feel unhappy, worried, tearful, self-doubt, sleeping difficulties, and crying spells. Typically, these blues appear within the first 3 days of the delivery and go away on their own in 2 weeks or so. However, if these feelings persist longer than 2 straight weeks and are unusually intense, this may indicate postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression may hinder the mother’s ability to look after her baby and perform daily life activities. In rare cases, an extreme form of postpartum depression called postpartum psychosis may also develop that may lead to life-threating behaviors requiring immediate treatment.

Postpartum depression has been linked with certain psychological, chemical and social changes associated with the childbirth. The chemical changes involve a rapid decrement in hormones that occurs after giving birth. The actual connection between depression and the drop in these hormones is not clear yet.

Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression include:


Frequent mood swings


Sleeping disturbances


Excessive fatigue


Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness


Thoughts of harming the baby


Decreased libido


Loss of appetite


Intense irritability and anger


Somatic complains such as body aches


Difficulty bonding with the baby, family members, and friends


Loss of interest in daily activities


Difficulty in thinking clearly, making decisions, and in concentrating


Thoughts of death or suicide

Postpartum depression is not a character’s weakness or flaw but a complication of childbirth that can strike any woman. Fortunately, with prompt and proper treatment, postpartum depression can be managed successfully and the bond between the mother and baby can be restored.

Treatment Options

Postpartum depression is usually treated as same as the unipolar depression i.e. with the help of:

  • Psychotherapies (also called talk therapies) such as interpersonal therapy (IPT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Medications including anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in cases that are resistant to the above two methods
  • Ketamine infusion therapy


Ketamine infusion therapy is now acknowledged by the doctors and patients as a safe, effective and judicious alternative to treat a number of mental health disorders including postpartum depression. It has over 70 percent success rate and provides quick relief from the depressive symptoms in a matter of few hours, as opposed to weeks or months taken by other antidepressants.

While treating postpartum depression, one big concern lies in the fact that some commonly prescribed antidepressants like Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) can enter the breastmilk while breastfeeding the child. Ketamine provides a safe alternative for this as it does not enter the breastmilk and is also free of the other unwanted, unpleasant, and lingering side-effects caused by the conventional antidepressants.

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