What is it about?

Anesthesia use during delivery may produce a painless labor process for women. Some studies in Western countries suggest that anesthesia helps reduce the risk of developing postpartum depression. However, Japanese women tend to opt for vaginal delivery without pain control, because of cultural beliefs. Researchers at Nagoya City University conducted a study by using datasets from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS) to investigate the relationship between delivery with anesthesia and postpartum depression at various time points.

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Why is it important?

Since a lower rate of delivery with anesthesia exists in Japan, only few studies have investigated the effect of painless delivery on postpartum depression. This study is the first nationwide study in Japan that investigated this topic. Although anesthesia use during delivery has been shown to reduce the risk of postpartum depression in Western countries, Japanese women undergoing delivery with anesthesia may be at a higher risk of developing postpartum depression at 6 months after childbirth.

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This page is a summary of: Relationship between delivery with anesthesia and postpartum depression: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS), BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, July 2021, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1186/s12884-021-03996-y.
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