It’s not just a cultural phenomenon or the lack of postpartum care here in the US that causes perinatal mental health issues. While the standard of care here is pretty underwhelming (one 6-week visit, say what?!), cross-cultural analyses show plenty of PPD diagnoses universally.
The World Health Organization has found that factors including gender inequality, reproductive health problems, infertility and pregnancy loss contribute to mental health issues. Ever heard the glorification of postpartum traditions such as confinement for the first 40 days? While staying at home and being cared for by family members can be supportive and healing for some, these traditions were found to be counterproductive for others.
It just goes to show how individual postpartum care choices need to be. We don’t all fit into a mold. Autonomous decisions over our health and wellness will always result in the best outcomes.
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