Can Having A Baby Give You OCD?

23 June 2015

Pregnant Woman

It's common for new parents to experience anxiety - after all, it's fairly daunting to face the fact that you are now responsible for another human being for at least the next 18 years - but what's not discussed so openly is the link between parenthood and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Until now - there's a fascinating piece about postnatal OCD in today's Daily Mail.

The paper reports:

"Around 1 per cent of the population has OCD at any one time, but 2 to 3 per cent of women have it after childbirth,' says Ian Jones, a perinatal psychiatrist and director of the National Centre for Mental Health at Cardiff University."

Personally, I've never experienced the obsessions or compulsions that are associated with OCD, but I've definitely had moments of heightened anxiety during pregnancy and following the births of my children. At those times I found it hard to consider the possibility that I was going through a common and normal part of adjusting to parenthood - I definitely worried that there might be something 'wrong' with me or even with my babies.

I really applaud mums who open up about issues like OCD, which can develop or worsen during pregnancy, and wish it was more widely spoken about, so that those of us who experience anxiety might feel less alone when it strikes.

And did you even know that fathers can experience postnatal OCD? I didn't.

If you've dealt with anxiety during pregnancy or experienced OCD whilst pregnant or after having a child, do consider sharing your experience over on our Facebook page. By talking about these things, we might help make it easier for other mums who are in the grip of anxious or obsessive thoughts, and don't know where to turn for help.

For more information on prenatal and postanal OCD, check out this link over at OCD-UK. It outlines some of the symptoms of prenatal and postanal OCD, and some steps for getting further help and support.

TOPICS:   Parenting Tips

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