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International Childfree Day Celebrates Mental Health Benefits

By HERWriter
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International Childfree Day: Celebrate the Mental Health Benefits Lev Dolgachov/PhotoSpin

You may not realize it, but there is an entire day devoted to people who choose not to have children. August 1 is International Childfree Day, and it mostly exists to “educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option,” according to the blog site “We’re Not Having a Baby!”

So you might be wondering, what are some actual benefits of living childfree? There are actually several mental health benefits.

For one, if you never have children, you will never have to suffer from postpartum depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, postpartum depression is a type of mood disorder that only impacts women after they give birth.

“Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others,” according to the Institute.

This is differentiated from the “baby blues,” which is when mothers worry after giving birth, and also experience fatigue and unhappiness for sometimes up to two weeks, even though the feelings are mild.

A study in 2005 also demonstrated that parents are more likely to suffer from depression when compared to people without children, according to a press release from the American Sociological Association.

The blog Childfreedom also mentions some potential benefits of not having children:

1) “You will have the capacity and time for meaningful, engaged, quality adult relationships.”

2) “You will have the time and energy to exercise regularly and take care of your health and appearance.”

3) “You will have the freedom to come and go at will – you will remain independent, self-determined and autonomous.”

4) “Your life will have a manageable and comfortable pace. You will not be harried and stressed out, running around like a headless chicken trying to do it all.”

Dr. Jeanette Raymond, a clinical psychologist and author of “Now You Want Me, Now You Don’t! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship,” said in an email that there are five major benefits of choosing to be childfree:

1) “Avoiding anxiety”

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.