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Moms weave their way out of depression

China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-22 10:51

Mao Wan decorates railings of a shopping street in Shanghai with works of her weaving group. [Photo/Xinhua]

SHANGHAI - Jinxiufang, a shopping street in Shanghai's Pudong District, was recently festooned with colorful new decorations.

Mao Wan and many new moms from her weaving group had spent months knitting cute animals and ornate patterns to decorate the shopping area to mark World Mental Health Day on Oct 10.

Mao, a 30-year-old mother of two, suffered postpartum depression after she had her first child in 2015.

Following the birth of the child, she had difficulty accepting the scar from her cesarean section. Meanwhile, pain during breastfeeding and high fever constantly bothered her, and urinary incontinence made her afraid to go outside.

"At the time, everyone was focused on the newborn baby, and because of the Chinese tradition of postpartum confinement, I hadn't washed my hair in a month, which made me feel dirty and gloomy," Mao said.

Overcome by these feelings, she would burst into tears at the drop of a hat. Because of anxiety and depression, she was even reluctant to look after her baby when he cried.

All this changed a few years ago because of a small ball of wool. Mao found herself a new goal: to weave a small hat and a few pairs of booties for her baby.

"I posted the photo of the baby hat on social media, and it got me so much praise from my friends. I felt that I had finally done something valuable," Mao said.

She then created a social network account to share her work and knitting skills, as well as parenting stories and insights. Now, Mao has three groups of knitting enthusiasts with about 1,000 members, most of whom are young mothers hoping to ease anxiety and pressure.

"Taking care of two boys has been stressful from time to time, but I always cheer up as soon as I pick up the crochet," said Tang Xiaorong, a 32-year-old full-time mother from the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

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