Press Release – Mental Health Foundation
The Chinese new year of the dragon is already giving rise to the phrase “dragon baby” for families expecting a new arrival, and in preparation, the Mental Health Foundation’s Kai Xin Xing Dong website is offering Chinese language information for …Support available for ‘dragon baby’ families
The Chinese new year of the dragon is already giving rise to the phrase “dragon baby” for families expecting a new arrival, and in preparation, the Mental Health Foundation’s Kai Xin Xing Dong website is offering Chinese language information for new and expectant mothers.
The dragon is thought to be the mightiest zodiac sign in Chinese astrology, and is associated with traits such as success, ambition and independence. With 2012 being the year of the dragon, many mothers consider this to be a particularly auspicious year to give birth.
A special dragon baby page on the Kai Xin Xing Dong website discusses the adjustment to parenthood, as well as postnatal depression or the “baby blues”, a condition experienced by more than 10% of new mothers in New Zealand.
“We would like to empower new families with information on wellbeing this year, so new mothers will not be taken by surprise if they experience any distressing feelings after birth,” says Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation. “Up to three quarters of new mothers will experience low mood in the week after birth, but these will usually go away. If not, then it’s best to seek help straightaway.”
Solutions for staying well and happy following a birth are a perfect fit with traditional Chinese values of family, togetherness and collective responsibility.
“It’s about teamwork; keeping partners, friends and family involved as well as your GP, maternity carer or Well Child provider,” says Judi Clements. “Support for a new mother is essential, listening, helping out where possible and making sure she has time for self-care is also important.”
According to Chinese astrology, babies born in 2012 are “water dragons”, which enable them to see things from the point of view of others, and temper their independent natures by allowing others to become involved in their lives.
“This is great advice for everybody’s wellbeing,” says Judi Clements. “Being there and staying involved, both in times of celebration and difficulty, is the best way of maintaining strong connections throughout our lives.”
Also available on the Kai Xin Xing Dong website are several newly-translated resources and personal stories about recovery from mental illness, several from parents. For more information, go to www.kaixinxingdong.org.nz.