Becoming a mother should be one of the happiest moments in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, many women suffer from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders beginning in pregnancy through the first year postpartum.
Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is becoming more widely studied because of the potential ethical and legal consequences. Some women have intrusive thoughts of harming their child, which may result in increased and unintended contacts with the legal system. These women fear that if they discuss these thoughts with a health provider, they will be reported to Child Protective Services as they may be at risk of harming their child.
However, in reality, women with postpartum OCD are not at increased risk of harming their newborn because these women tend to avoid physical contact with their child or engage in rituals in order to prevent acting upon their intrusive thoughts. Nevertheless, these fears may decrease the likelihood that women with postpartum OCD will seek treatment when they most need it.
Moms Needed for a Postpartum OCD Study
To date, there is limited knowledge of this potential intersection among consumers, health providers, and policy makers in addressing postpartum OCD. The purpose of our study is to understand mothers’ experiences with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, especially postpartum OCD. Our long term goal is to create more awareness and educate health practitioners and policy makers in how to address postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. The study is conducted by a student researcher and a psychologist/associate professor from The George Washington University.
If you’re interested in participating, you will be asked to complete an online survey about your experiences, and possibly participate in a follow-up phone interview. As a thank you for your time, you will receive a $10 gift card for your participation.
Edited March 2, 2016: We would like to thank all the courageous and wonderful women who helped us further understand postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD by completing our online survey. We are extremely grateful for your participation in the research study. At this point, the survey has been closed.
You wrote that “women with postpartum OCD are not at increased risk of harming their newborn because these women tend to avoid physical contact with their child or engage in rituals in order to prevent acting upon their intrusive thoughts.”
That is not the reason why women with PPOCD are not a threat to their children!!!
The reason is simply the fact that women with PPOCD have an anxiety disorder that brings those intrusive thoughts to be reoccurring,
while in fact that is the LAST THING in the whole world that they actually want to do, these are their greatest fears !!!
Women with OCD are not unaccountable for their actions, and would never do something they don’t want. They do not engage in rituals in order to prevent acting upon their intrusive thoughts. They engage in rituals in order to dismiss their anxiety.
All people have intrusive thoughts, the only difference is that those without OCD are able to not pay attention to them, While OCD people are getting scared of them, what makes them more persistent.
There is no connection between the real person, and these thoughts, other than the fact that those thoughts represents his fears.
Thank you very much for your comment. There is limited research on Postpartum OCD, and your personal insight is very helpful to increase researchers’ and laypersons’ knowledge of this issue. We encourage you to fill out the survey and give us your opinion as well as share your experiences. We are happy to hear from mothers like you who want to create more awareness about this important issue.
Hay Klarissa, I would be glad to fill out the survey but when I click the link it says:
“Sorry, this survey is not currently active.”…
From all I know (and I know a lot- when I was struggling, I read about everything there is about the issue, as well as went to an OCD specialist who is very knowledgeable), Postpartum OCD isn’t different from regular OCD, It doesn’t have to revolve around the baby ether. Having a baby is just the trigger for women with a tendency to OCD, to have a full blown disorder.
If you will sign in to the Smart Patients Postpartum Community, you will find out that some woman with Postpartum OCD obsess about stuff like their brain or the universe, you can learn A LOT about Postpartum OCD from their conversations, its a great inside look!
My story is also there….
Wish you good luck with the research 😉
Hey there – I completed this survey but haven’t had any follow up. Does PPI have any contact info for the researchers? Thank you.
Hi Amanda, I’ll check into this for you.
I don’t think there will be any follow-up from the researchers on this as the communication that was needed was within the study only.
Thank you – they asked for email address to send e-gift card info for participation and I hadn’t heard anything back after I submitted my info (confirmed via their survey website). It was $5 gift card for either Amazon or Target for completion of online survey then an additional $5 for Amazon or Target for a follow up info via phone (which I agreed to and have them my contact/email info). Please let me know if you learn anything about their process.
Thank you again!
Oh I see. I wasn’t aware of that. I will certainly look into it!