"The Association between Depressive Symptoms and Social Support in Taiwanese Women During the Month" (2004), by Shu-Shya Heh et al.
In 2004, Shu-Shya Heh, Lindsey Coombes, and Helen Bartlett studied the association between Chinese postpartum (post-childbirth) practices and postpartum depression in Taiwanese women. The researchers surveyed Taiwanese women about the social support they received after giving birth and then evaluated the depression rates in the same women. Heh and her colleagues focused on the month following childbirth, which according to traditional Chinese medicine, is an important period that warrants a set of specialized practices to aid the woman's recovery. Collectively called zuoyuezi (doing the month), the postpartum practices require the help of someone else, typically the woman's mother or mother-in-law, to complete. Heh and her colleagues found that generally, Taiwanese women with more social support displayed fewer postpartum depressive symptoms, and concluded that the practice of doing the month helped prevent postpartum depression in Taiwanese women.