Pregnancy can be a difficult time, especially for first timers. Other than the obvious pain and discomfort women globally have to go through during the 9 months, 1 in 10 women suffer from pregnancy-related or postpartum depression. This form of depression can be even riskier when compared to regular depression. Since both maternal and fetal well-being are directly related, it is important to come up with either treatments or therapies.
Often, postpartum depression is a consequence of depression during pregnancy rather than a condition in and of itself. However, natal pregnancy can not be treated directly via medication. Thus, physicians need to constantly balance and analyze the benefits of psychopharmacological agents and/ or other new age therapies to suggest the best possible alternative. One of these modern magic treatments is called the “Red Light Therapy”.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red Light Therapy or RLT, is a very simple procedure if you look at what it does. People with either muscular, skin or some other condition expose a part of their ailing body to an LED light, lamp or laser that emits energy to their skin. The mitochondrias, often called the ‘powerhouse of the cell’ absorb this energy and use it to speed up healing processes. This means the rate of healing or speed of recovery is significantly increased by using Red Light Therapy.
Tracking Safety of RLT
Since there is very little information about RLT that is being researched right now, it is difficult to assess its safety. However, clinical experiments have been done on large scales to ensure usability. One of these tests or studies was conducted by Dr. Anna Wirz-Justice in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The study involved administering 3 to 5 weeks of light therapy to a group of 16 pregnant women and providing placebo to a group of 11.
After the 5 weeks, there was significant improvement in the study group with point drops of 15.6 and 11.2. The placebo group, on the other hand, experienced 11.9 and 7.4 point drops in SIGH-ADS and HRDS. The paper thus concluded that the therapy was both safe and effective.
When to Consider RLT During Pregnancy?
Red Light Therapy is especially useful during arthritic pain and other inflammatory pain. Thus, any mother experiencing these symptoms should definitely think about getting RLT. Other situations where RLT is suggested-
- Feelings of prolonged sadness
- Concentration difficulties
- Insomnia or too much sleep
- Loss of interest
All these conditions refer to a build-up of depression within mothers. And the suggested treatment for depression during pregnancy is RLT.
But How Can RLT Help During Pregnancy?
The study mentioned above was conducted with a light intensity of 10000 lux for almost 3 to 5 weeks. This intensity saw the 16 women drop 50% of their depression after therapy. It is always suggested that you visit your doctor when you face any symptom. But what RLT does is remove points of personal insecurities or heal marks by rejuvenating mitochondria. This boost in both body image and mental image is what helps mothers deal with postpartum or pregnancy-related depression.