Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health reports that upwards of 85% of mothers experience postpartum baby blues in the days immediately following birth. Yet, postpartum depression often goes unaddressed in communities. For the majority of women, feelings of tearfulness and exhaustion dissipate within a week or so; it is the continuation and escalation of these symptoms and more that pose a lasting threat to the mother’s well-being.
Women suffering from postpartum depression may experience severe agitation, guilt, or fear, loss of concentration, appetite, and sleep, and thoughts of suicide or harm to the child. Disturbingly, despite the deluge of health resources available in the world today, the pervasiveness of postpartum depression is often overlooked. One admirable organization looking to right this cultural oversight is Madre Bonita, a non-profit based in Japan. Started by Maco Yoshioka, Madre Bonita offers postpartum fitness classes for women to provide a healthy community in which they can improve their mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is today, October 10th, an appropriate catalyst for highlighting Jolkona’s project Prevent Postpartum Depression for Mothers in Japan. According to the World Health Organization, this year’s theme is Depression: A Global Crisis. The day is intended to encourage and promote awareness, discussion, and activism on behalf of mental health issues. The WHO reports that over 350 million people suffer from depression, a disease which is not always easily diagnosed by the victim or those in the victim’s life.
Present research states that nearly 100,000 women in Japan experience postpartum depression in a pronounced way. Its detrimental effects wear heavily on mothers as well as adversely affecting their baby’s well-being. Madre Bonita’s dedication speaks to what every new mother truly deserves: rest, empathy, and professional resources that will augment the health of their whole person. Over 2,000 women took classes with Madre Bonita’s staff in 2010 alone; they hope to extend their cultural reach every year.
By supporting the organization’s mission, you give struggling mothers the chance to move on with their lives in a positive manner. Those who benefit from Jolkona’s project are typically young or single mothers, or mothers of premature babies or those with significant disabilities. $50 covers the cost of one class for a mother to rehabilitate her mental health and stability. For only $15, important booklet materials are given to a woman to supplement her recovery concerning postpartum depression. It is a small amount to give to register such an unquantifiable impact on a mother, her child, and their lives together.
If you or someone in your life is suffering from depression, know that there is help and hope for you. Call to speak with a professional free of charge, day or night, and reach someone willing to listen unconditionally. Stand in solidarity with people suffering around the world and celebrate World Mental Health Day as a means towards greater healing.
Prevent Postpartum Depression for Mothers in Japan and promote the healthy empowerment of women today.