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Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Postpartum OCD occurs in approximately 3 percent to 5 percent of childbearing women. The symptoms include:

  • Intrusive, repetitive thoughts or ritualized actions such as compulsive eating, counting or checking
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fears of eating

The most common obsession is thoughts or mental images of harming or even killing one's own baby. The most frequent compulsion is bathing the baby often or changing the child's clothes.

These mothers know their thoughts are bizarre and are highly unlikely to ever act on them.

Risk factors include history of OCD and/or negative feelings about motherhood resulting from unrealistic expectations.

Postpartum OCD is treatable. Read more about treatment options.

Perinatal mood disorders are treatable. But first you have to ask for help.

call the helpline 24/7 at

1-800-328-3838


Department of Health

P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
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Last Modified: Thursday, 12-Jul-12 11:44:49