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Postpartum OCD: New Public Awareness

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Postpartum Obessive Compulsive Disorder, PPOCD, researchers are getting the message out to the public, dispelling fears many new Moms have, and creating public awareness. 

New York University psychiatry professor Shari Luskin, MD, and Sonia Murdock were interviewed on CNN today about Postpartum OCD. Report emphasized that -- Many mothers avoid seeking help for fear that their child/ren may be removed from the home --

Below is an exerpt from a doctored reviewed article:

About Postpartum OCD

Women with OCD may experience a worsening of symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum. A recent study suggests that fluctuating hormones may trigger symptoms during pregnancy. The same study reports OCD in 30% of women observed.

The arrival of a baby brings new responsibility, a new set of concerns, and changes in routine. While normal reaction to a newborn may include some anxiety, postpartum OCD features disturbing thoughts and excessive behavior regarding the baby

Edited by Batou

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Heya Batou,

Have to wonder along with herpie.

New moms -- esp first-time moms -- call us all the time -- baby is eating too much/not enough, sleeping too much/not enough, etc.

We FPs (and peds) don't mind *in the slightest* reassuring these moms.

They figure out after a while that they can trust their own knowledge of their own babes.

I have no doubt that PP OCD is very real for some women.

But normal PP behaviour has to be distinguished from pathology.

Interesting start though.


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Hmm, very interesting. I wasn't aware of this pattern of behavior.

From a purely biological perspective, its easy to see how the exagerated protective behaviors could be beneficial in ensuring survival of the young.  When an animal, say a wolf, nurtures and takes good care of its young, that is called instinct. It is highly frowned upon to mention instinct and human in the same sentence.


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Thinking about it, isn't most mental illness an exaggeration or perversion of what IS normal? It's normal to be sad, or happy- not so much depressed or manic. It's normal to see things out of the corner of your eye sometimes. Not so if it's talking to you  ;) Likewise the protective behaviors of new mothers are normal, but if they are taken to the extent that they interfere with the mother's life and ability to function, then yeah, problem.  Common sense. Quick somebody stick an MD after my name and get me off the poverty line already :)

It's great that there is more awareness of what new moms go through, though. Better awareness will lead to more women who ARE having problems seeking help. That can only be a Good Thing.

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SO glad you posted information on this disorder. 

I recently read an article on postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder, and postpartum psychosis.  obviously, the difference being (as Batou stated) PPOCD is where mothers are scared that they are going to HURT the baby but are physically aware that they are having these thoughts, and the latter being that they have no idea and eventually do.

i DO think this is interesting.  post partum depression certainly does exist but why can we not explore PPOCD or PPP? Hello...Andrea Yates?

a lot of new mothers have severe difficulty functioning on a day to day basis, which can (or will) ultimately affect their child.  im just happy theres more information out there for them.


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