New Mom Secret: I Think About Hurting My Baby

It's hard being a new mom (or even an experienced mom to a new baby) and sometimes we do things we know we shouldn't, despite what all the experts say. But this is a safe place to share your secrets (PM me)—we'll never tell.

This Week's Secret:


My son is about 6 months old, and ever since he was born, I have been stressing about the "what-ifs." When I am holding him, I wonder what would happen if I dropped him. When I am bathing him, I think about what would happen if I pushed him under. When we're driving, I think about what would happen if we crashed. These visions are starting to make me a little crazy. I don't understand why I feel this way or whether it's normal, but they're making me scared that I can't be trusted with my own child. -- Anonymous

This is something that few moms talk about, but many experience, I think. I only know this from talking to other moms and we all have a lot of fears, which I think stem mostly from the freak-out over being entirely responsible for this tiny life.

That said, only you can answer how serious these thoughts are. While it may be normal to have the occasional flash of accidentally dropping your baby or falling down while you're holding them or getting into a car crash while you're driving them, it isn't normal for these thoughts to consume you or to change your behavior or for you to be fantasizing more about hurting the baby on purpose than on accident.

Either way, it seems to me you might want to seek professional help. This could be some kind of postpartum issue. It could be normal. But either way, since it's bothering you so much, you should see a therapist or talk to your doctor about these thoughts. There are medications or therapies that can stop them from being so consuming.

Do you have any advice for this mom?

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