The purpose of this mixed-method design study was to examine factors contributing to depression among immigrant Chinese women (primipara and multipara) (n=22) delivering a child for the first time in Japan. Data were obtained just after hospital discharge by using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Social Support Scale, a new scale to measure cross-cultural stressors in the postpartum setting and a visual analogue scale for stress and a demographic survey. The average EPDS score was 9.0 (SD±3.7) at 1-3weeks postpartum; yet, more than half of the subjects (n=12; 54.5%) were high risk for depression (EPDS≥10). Low household income and primiparous status were associated with depression scores. New mothers with depression also reported more general stress and more cross-cultural stress in the postpartum setting, although social support appeared to mediate cross-cultural stressors. Semi-structured interviews were held with two immigrant women at high risk for depression; these new mothers described additional stress because they could not follow Zuoyuezi, an important postpartum Chinese tradition, in the Japanese hospital. These findings suggest that immigrant Chinese women are at higher risk for postpartum depression when they give birth for the first time in Japan.
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