1 in 10 New Moms Shows Signs of OCD & We Really Shouldn't Be Surprised

This Just In 8

baby bottlesI can't say that I'm all that shocked by it, but new research indicates that 1 out of 10 new moms shows signs of OCD after having a baby.

After experiencing "unsettling and obsessive thoughts" herself after having her first child, Dr. Dana Gossett, the chief of obstetrics and gynecology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, decided to investigate the phenomenon further. She conducted a study on the subject, and the results were published in March/April issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.

And what she and her colleagues found is pretty interesting to say the least.

Based on their findings, new mothers are a whole lot more likely to report having symptoms of OCD than other people. She figured they'd probably have OCD occur about 2 to 3 percent more often as new moms, but as it turns out, it occurred 11 percent more frequently.

Ok, so I'm sure you're wondering what kinds of OCD symptoms are common with new moms -- and I know you're curious as to whether or not you've exhibited any since having your baby.

Well, if you've checked on the baby countless times to make sure he's still breathing, worried excessively about your little one's exposure to germs, washed and sterilized bottles over and over again, or have been totally paranoid about something bad happening to your baby -- then yes, you've experienced symptoms of new mom OCD.

And considering I exhibited all of those signs after bringing my son home from the hospital, it's fairly safe to say I'm definitely part of the 1 in 10 trend. In a nutshell -- I was a wreck. I freaked out when he wasn't sleeping long enough. I panicked when he slept too long because I was worried he'd suffocate in his crib. If anyone so much as sneezed in his general vicinity, I had a minor panic attack. And I was constantly afraid that I was going to drop him, or that he'd somehow topple over and hit his head.

And you know what? I'm still not over my OCD. My son is in first grade, and I still check on him every night before I go to bed to make sure he's ok. And I still obsess and worry that something bad will happen to him on a daily basis. And don't even get me started on the whole germaphobe thing. (I'm a lost cause.)

But don't worry, I'm not the norm. Over half the moms surveyed in this study got over the OCD thing by the sixth-month mark. With any luck, yours will end by then too and you won't wind up being a total basket case like me.

Do you have any signs of OCD behavior since having your baby?


Image via fred_v/Flickr

newborns, baby health


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Lilia920 Lilia920

So weird I was diagnosed with OCD after my son was born. I had underlying symptoms prior to his birth and they were very obvious after his birth. I now have OCD and have to manage it daily. Huh, it's good to know that I wasn't imagining the symptoms.

SuzyB... SuzyBarno

Nope, not me. I'm too realistic about things. I'm safe, but realistic. My Family member on the other hand, not so much. Her anxiety and anal retentiveness has only gotten worse.

amand... amandabananda

No OCD here.  Oh sure, I sterelized things, washed toys etc.  but once she started licking the floors and eating dirt, any effort to keep things super clean was pointless.

wilfonrm wilfonrm

I have a 3 month old daughter and I have the same problem with the sleeping. I get upset too when she doesnt sleep enough but then if she is down for more than 90 min and I don't hear sounds from her monitor, I find myself checking on her quite a bit more frequently to make sure "she is still breathing".

Laura... LauraSheriff143

My oldest is 10 and I still peek into his room every  night. My 20 month old and 9 month old I actually lay my hand on their backs to make sure they're still breathing before I go to bed - but I never had the other symptoms. Just that.

nonmember avatar Taylor

Yep I showed all of those symptoms, it was a lot more obvious after my first child than for my second. I fold all of their clothes a very specific way and I refold them if my husband does it wrong. I would say the only part that I've gotten over is the germaphobe thing. My oldest is 6 and youngest is 3 and I still check that they're breathing every night and I worry constantly about something bad happening to them.

Tammy May-Haser

My son is almost 3 and I am in no way a germafobe. He can get just as dirty as he can. But then again I am older and know that he will not get an immune system until he is exposed. I also have a set of twins that are almost 18 years old. It is amazing that they survived. Mothers take alot of thing too seriously. Children will get sick, children will have boo boo's. I know I did and I survived. The only way to build the immune system is to expose. I'm not saying to expose a 1 month old to herpe's or anything but getting dirty and being around the common cold is OK.

Dianne Olson

My son is 4 and I still check on him and worry about him constantly.

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