Pregnancy is associated with an increased vulnerability to developing psychiatric illnesses that, if left untreated, pose the risk of negative consequences for the mother and the fetus. At the same time, there is a risk of teratogenicity and other possible interference with fetal development associated with pharmacotherapy. Taking into account all these factors, brain stimulation techniques are emerging as reasonable alternatives for the treatment of psychiatric disorders during pregnancy. Here, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has the advantage of better evidence of efficacy and faster response. The adverse effects associated with ECT specifically for mother and fetus during pregnancy can be mitigated with proper precautions, monitoring, and multidisciplinary care. Repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is also emerging to be effective and safe during pregnancy, although the evidence is currently more related to its applicability in depression. This article describes various aspects of ECT and rTMS with the aim of improving their utility as treatment modalities for psychiatric disorders during pregnancy. The other brain stimulation modalities are not much explored for psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and hence are described briefly.
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