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Postnatal stress peaks during first 2 weeks after delivery

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Yomiuri ShimbunWomen’s feelings of anxiety and being burdened down as a result of pregnancy and giving birth hit their peak during the first two weeks after delivery, according to a recent survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

The survey also found that the majority of women who have just given birth are concerned about health problems and exhaustion.

This is the first nationwide survey focusing on pregnant and nursing mothers’ mental health. The ministry plans to utilize the results to improve mental health care for women at a point in their lives when they are prone to feeling insecure, which sometimes develops into postnatal depression.

The survey was conducted from November 2017 to January this year on 4,541 women who had given birth three to four months earlier. Of them, 1,900 women, or 42 percent, responded.

The women were asked to choose one or more types of anxiety or burden they felt during each of four periods: 1) during pregnancy, 2) less than two weeks after delivery, 3) from two weeks to eight weeks after delivery, and 4) at the time of the survey.

The majority of respondents felt anxious in the period of less than two weeks after childbirth, indicating they were more likely to become stressed during that time.

The largest number of respondents, at 56 percent, said they were concerned about their physical condition during the first two weeks after delivery. They outnumbered women who said they felt this way in the two-week to eight-week period after delivery by 15 percentage points.

Other key sources of concern were exhaustion from pregnancy, childbirth and childcare at 53 percent, and sleep deprivation at 54 percent.Speech

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