Did you experience symptoms of OCD after having your baby?
by Mary Fischer Yesterday at 9:35 AM
I 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?