A study of over 700,000 women published this month found that women with a history of depression are more than 20 times more likely to experience post partum depression than women without a prior clinical diagnosis of depression. Another important finding from the study is that gestational diabetes (developing diabetes during pregnancy) alone raises the risk for postpartum depression (PPD), and even more so if gestational diabetes and prior depression occur together. The study was published this month by the peer-reviewed journal Depression and Anxiety. The good news is that treatments are available that are safe during pregnancy. We have been happy to offer transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This is an FDA approved treatment for depression that uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate specific parts of the brain that are known to modulate mood. TMS has virtually no side effects because the pulses are very focused. This is ideal for women who develop depressive symptoms during pregnancy because there is in no exposure to medications. TMS is also an attractive option for women who want to avoid taking antidepressants during pregnancy. In these cases, we start TMS before pregnancy in order to know it is effective. Early results of TMS in pregnancy were presented in Athens, Greece at the 12th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry. That study included a small number of pregnant women with major depressive disorder who were treated with active TMS or pretend TMS that used a TENS stimulation unit. TENS has not been shown to be an effective antidepressant. The results suggest better antidepressant effects with TMS, as would be expected. If you would like to know more about depression treatment before or during pregnancy, or if you need treatment for post partum depression, we are experts in the field. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit our website www.brainhealthconsultants.com for information on transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).