Twenty-eight-year-old Ms. Tang just had a baby one month ago, but the new mom even doesn't want to look at her child.
She describes her current emotional state: "My cut is so painful, and he keeps on crying and crying. I have to nurse him every one to two hours, no matter day or night. I don't know why things turn out to be so depressed, I was once so expectant for his arrival."
Tang is not the only mom who is upset by the unexpected feeling after having a baby.
Zhan Shuqin is a psychologist from the Beijing Xuanwu Hospital. She says that nearly half of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression.
According to a Beijing Morning Post report, the city is going to welcome over 150,000 newborn babies this year.
Experts warned that depression may accompany or even replace the happiness of having a child, and families should be sure to pay attention to those new mothers' mental health.
The depression can happen anytime within the first year after delivery. Tiredness, sleep disorders, hotter temperament, and changes in body weight would typically occur during pregnancy and after pregnancy. But these symptoms may also be signs of depression.
Jiang Hong from the General Hospital of Chinese PLA explains that depression could be caused by hormone changes. But the stresses of real life, such as pressure from work or the anxiety of raising a child, are the major factors that could lead to the disease.
Jiang adds that new moms in China are also at a unique risk for depression. Most of China's new moms are from the only-child generation, who are always at the center of their families. However, the family's focus may transfer to the baby, which could make the moms feel being left out and become depressed.
The matter can be exacerbated since depression is usually not diagnosed or treated properly. Currently, only a few maternity hospitals have psychological aid services, and those suffering depression are sent to the hospital only when they are severely affected and have lost almost all self-control.
(CRI March 26, 2007)