OPINIONS Insurance proposal for postpartum depression is commendable

OPINIONS

Insurance proposal for postpartum depression is commendable

China Daily

16:57, May 26, 2020

A mother breastfeeds her baby at a mall during an activity in celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week in Beijing, capital of China, Aug 6, 2016. (Photo: Xinhua)

Fang Yan, a deputy to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, has submitted a proposal to discuss during the ongoing two sessions maternity insurance for the treatment of postpartum depression.

Some women go through postpartum depression in the weeks or months after childbirth because of changes in hormonal secretions. The depression is often accompanied by anhedonia, loss of appetite and insomnia. About 15 to 30 percent of women go through postpartum depression, and in severe cases they are known to hallucinate and even try to kill themselves, sometimes with their newborns.

However, society has still not woken up to the problem. Very few women have received professional medical help for it, either because of economic constraints or for lack of necessary family support. That's why Fang has suggested that the Law on the Protection of Women's Rights and Interests be revised to bring in maternity insurance to pay for psychological assessment, psychotherapy and postpartum recovery.

On social networking sites, many have welcomed Fang's proposal, particularly because it acknowledges postpartum depression and safeguards women's legal rights and interests. Many people, mostly men, even deny that postpartum depression is a serious condition, and instead say that women are "being excessively sensitive".

Denied necessary medical treatment, many women end up suffering untold miseries, often because their husbands disregard the major changes they undergo during childbirth and regard childbirth and child-rearing an obligation on the mother.

Only when there is greater awareness about postpartum depression among men will they be more sensitive and provide necessary care to the new mothers.

When their legal rights and interests are secured and they receive necessary support from society and their family, women will no longer get the maternity blues.

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