Why is Postpartum Depression more common in Nepal?

Posted on : November 23, 2022 by Clinic One Team on Mental Health

Postpartum depression is a mental disorder that happens in some women the time after childbirth.

It consists of moderate or intense depression and can appear suddenly after birth or even a year after.

In most cases, it appears in the first 3 months after giving birth.

It is distinguished by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness.

The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to those of normal depression, such as irritability, changes in appetite, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, lack of pleasure, loss of concentration, and so on.

The exact causes are unknown, obviously, the hormonal changes that women experience during and after pregnancy directly affect their mood.

There are other causes that can affect the mood during this period besides the hormonal influence, such as:

  • Changes in the body

  • Changes in social relationships

  • Changes in professional relationships

  • Less time and freedom for oneself

  • Lack of sleep

  • Worries about the ability to be a good mother

As different studies showed, there are some situations that predispose women to have postpartum depression.

Focusing on the case of Nepal, these are the factors that have been found related to postpartum depression to be more common in Nepali women:

  • Women with multiple births (two or more births) were at higher risk of depressive symptoms

  • Married women whose husbands consume alcohol are more likely to develop depressive symptoms than those who do not.

  • Mental violence to women also increases their risk of postpartum depression.

  • Another factor that highly increases the risk is the presence of chronic diseases in the family.

Risks of Suffering From Postpartum Depression:

postpartum depression is more common in Nepal thank you think
  • If the mother is less than 20 years

  • Being a consumer of alcohol, tobacco, or other illegal substances

  • If pregnancy was not planned or generated discomfort feelings

  • If the woman had lived a stressful situation during the pregnancy, like an illness, the loss of a loved one, or an illness in the baby

  • Having a bad relationship with the partner or being single

  • Having economical problems

  • Less or absence of support from family, friends, or partner

In Nepali society, childbirth is a family event in which the women expect to get all the support from their family members, especially from their mothers or mothers-in-law.

During the lockdown, most women could not experience the partum experience with the support that they were expecting.

That means that the pandemic has increased the risk of postpartum depression, in the case of Nepal.

Childbirth is an important moment in women’s lives, and the impossibility of sharing this moment with their close family may have influenced the increment of postpartum depression in Nepali women.

Research has shown that depressive symptoms have significantly increased from 15% to 41% during the pandemic.

According to statistics before the pandemic, the prevalence of postpartum depression was between 5% and 22% in Nepal.

It is important to notice that a majority of women with postpartum depression are not diagnosed because of the lack of resources to assist them or to be aware of the disorder that they are suffering from.

Different researches discuss the increase in the prevalence rate of women with postpartum depression in Nepal but there is not enough evidence to give a number.

Therefore, it is a fact that the prevalence of postpartum depression will be considerably decreased if there is an increase in resources to raise knowledge about it as well as the existence of other factors like support from family and a partner.

Author Bio: Fatima Jihad is a psychologist specialised in Clinical Psychology. Her interest and experience in this area allowed the development of this articles. She has been graduated by the University of Valencia, and you can find more about her in LinkedIn: Fatima Jihad

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